Matt Taibbi, the journalist who first broke the news of Elon Musk's "Twitter Files" revealed that the company's top lawyer had "vetted" what information was shared without the knowledge of the new boss.
Musk announced on Tuesday that he had terminated Deputy General Counsel Jim Baker "in light of concerns about Baker’s possible role in suppression of information important to the public dialogue."
And when asked by a Twitter user if Baker was able to explain himself, Musk replied "His explanation was …unconvincing."
Moments later, Taibbi began his own Twitter thread calling it a "Twitter Files Supplemental."
"On Friday, the first installment of the Twitter files was published here. We expected to publish more over the weekend. Many wondered why there was a delay," Taibbi tweeted. "We can now tell you part of the reason why. On Tuesday, Twitter Deputy General Counsel (and former FBI General Counsel) Jim Baker was fired. Among the reasons? Vetting the first batch of 'Twitter Files' – without knowledge of new management."
Taibbi explained, "The process for producing the ‘Twitter Files’ involved delivery to two journalists (Bari Weiss and me) via a lawyer close to new management. However, after the initial batch, things became complicated. Over the weekend, while we both dealt with obstacles to new searches, it was @BariWeiss who discovered that the person in charge of releasing the files was someone named Jim. When she called to ask ‘Jim’s’ last name, the answer came back: ‘Jim Baker.’
"‘My jaw hit the floor,’ says Weiss," Taibbi wrote.
The Substack writer then shared a screenshot of first batch of files both he and Weiss received, which were labeled "Spectra Baker Emails."
"Baker is a controversial figure. He has been something of a Zelig of FBI controversies dating back to 2016, from the Steele Dossier to the Alfa-Server mess. He resigned in 2018 after an investigation into leaks to the press," Taibbi told his followers. "The news that Baker was reviewing the ‘Twitter files’ surprised everyone involved, to say the least. New Twitter chief Elon Musk acted quickly to ‘exit’ Baker Tuesday.
"Reporters resumed searches through Twitter Files material – a lot of it – today. The next installment of ‘The Twitter Files’ will appear @bariweiss. Stay tuned," Taibbi teased.
Weiss later added, "It's been quite a weekend."
Baker did surface in the first installment of the so-called "Twitter Files" shared by Taibbi Friday night.
While revealing internal discussions over how to explain Twitter's suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story during the 2020 election, Baker told his colleagues "I support the conclusion that we need more facts to assess whether the materials were hacked" but added "it's reasonable for us to assume that they may have been and that caution is warranted."
Taibbi's thread similarly revealed that decisions to censor the New York Post's reporting "were made at the highest levels of the company, but without the knowledge of CEO Jack Dorsey, with former head of legal, policy and trust Vijaya Gadde playing a key role."
Additionally, Taibbi initially reported "Although several sources recalled hearing about a ‘general’ warning from federal law enforcement that summer about possible foreign hacks, there’s no evidence - that I've seen - of any government involvement in the laptop story." It is unclear whether Baker's involvement in vetting the "Twitter Files" led Taibbi to draw that conclusion and whether Baker omitted files that would have shown the federal government intervening in Twitter's suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story.
Musk had been vocal about being transparent when it comes to Twitter's past and present actions it takes when it comes to curating content on the platform, including censored content.
Twitter famously blocked its users from sharing the New York Post's reporting of Hunter Biden's laptop in tweets and in direct messages.
At the time, Twitter Safety alleged that the articles were in violation of its "hacked materials policy." Twitter's then-CEO Jack Dorsey admitted his companies actions were a mistake.
Many critics believe the suppression of the Hunter Biden scandal by Big Tech and the media at large was enough to sway the election in favor of his father.