As it became clear during the 2016 US election that Donald Trump had a mountain of support underneath him, nervous Democrats connected to the Hillary Clinton camp reached out to US officials over a half-dozen times, "each tapping a political connection to get suspect evidence into FBI counterintelligence agents' hands," according to The Hill's John Solomon, citing internal documents and testimonies he has reviewed, along with interviews Solomon conducted.
Ex-FBI general counsel James Baker, one of the more senior bureau executives to be targeted, gave a memorable answer when congressional investigators asked how attorney Michael Sussmann from the Perkins Coie law firm, which represented the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party, came to personally deliver him dirt on Trump.
“You’d have to ask him why he decided to pick me,” Baker said last year in testimony that has not yet been released publicly. The FBI’s top lawyer turned over a calendar notation to Congress, indicating that he met Sussmann on Sept. 19, 2016, less than two months before Election Day. -The Hill
Perkins Coie, as we know, paid Fusion GPS to produce opposition research assembled by former MI6 spy Christopher Steele in his now infamous "Steele Dossier," which suggested that Donald Trump colluded with Moscow during the 2016 election.
By the time Perkins attorney Sussman reached out to the FBI's James Baker, the Steele dossier had already made its way inside the FBI. Sussman, however, "augmented it with cyber evidence that he claimed showed a further connection between the GOP campaign and Russian President Vladimir Putin," according to Solomon. Some of this digital evidence was delivered on a thumb drive, according to Baker.
"[Sussmann] told me he had cyber experts that had obtained some information that they thought they should get into the hands of the FBI," Baker testified. "I referred this to investigators, and I believe they made a record of it," he added, telling his colleagues to "Please come get this."
Baker acknowledged that the Clinton-linked attorney's evidence did not follow the typical route into the FBI - but since he was the bureau's top attorney, agents snapped-to and collected it from him.
Rewinding to Steele's first outreach