by Trevor Schakohl
Former FBI General Counsel Andrew Weissmann, who later became a leading figure in former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, negatively impacted the FBI general counsel’s office’s culture during his tenure there, his immediate successor alleged, according to Politico.
During a trial this month for an unsuccessful gender discrimination lawsuit against the FBI, former bureau General Counsel Jim Baker described starting his tenure and discovering a fearful office atmosphere left by Weissmann, who was general counsel from 2011 to 2013, the outlet reported. Baker said the office’s personnel “didn’t tell each other what they were doing,” claiming the issue was “inherited from Andrew” and mentioning “negativity that flowed from” him.
“I wanted people to tell me when I was wrong, which was the complete opposite from what Andrew did–Andrew Weissmann,” Baker said, according to Politico. “The agency … had this tendency not to speak truth to each other in meetings and in other settings.”
Baker’s chief of staff Justin Schoolmaster suggested in a 2014 email revealed during the trial that Weissmann had failed to correct the flawed hiring process for a particular job in the general counsel’s office, Politico reported. Baker testified that people “were so afraid to be seen talking to” him in his first days as general counsel, dreading “some of the leadership that was still in the office.”
Weissmann joined the Mueller probe team in 2017, according to Reuters, and the investigation ultimately resulted a 2019 report failing to prove that President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign conspired with Russia to affect the 2016 election. He published a book about the investigation in 2021, saying investigators “made mistakes” and “could have done more.”
Weissmann is currently an MSNBC contributor and a New York University law professor. He did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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