A Defense Department official denied rumors that a particular senior Pentagon official leaked classified information to Washington Post columnist David Ignatius about retired Lt. Gen Michael Flynn’s contacts with a Russian envoy during the presidential transition period.
Responding to a November court filing, in which Flynn’s attorney said the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment Director James Baker is “believed” to be behind the leaks reportedly being scrutinized by U.S. Attorney John Durham in his Russia investigation inquiry, a Defense Department official told the Washington Examiner: “The reference by the defense team for Mr. Flynn was a note in their court filing. At no time since that filing has anyone within the DoD or the DOJ investigated Mr. Baker, nor given any credence to this ‘belief.’”
Documents show Baker routinely communicated with Ignatius, whose Jan. 12, 2017, column first described Flynn’s phone conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition. A follow-up article was published by the Washington Post on Feb. 9, 2017.
Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, was fired in February 2017 a couple of weeks into the job after Ignatius’s column suggested he misled Vice President Mike Pence and other officials about his conversations with Kislyak.