(CNSNews.com) - Jim Baker, the former general counsel of the FBI -- now a CNN contributor -- told Chris Cuomo Monday night that he "worked very closely" with disgraced FBI officials Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, and he never detected any political bias on their part.
Baker blasted President Donald Trump for mocking the "lovers" Page and Strzok at various campaign rallies; and he excused Strzok and Page's "poor judgement" in having an adulterous affair and exchanging politically-charged text messages.
"Human beings make mistakes," Baker said.
Chris Cuomo told Baker that no matter what the soon-to-be-released inspector-general report shows, "We both know the president's going to keep saying the FBI's out to get him."
Well, the human suffering that the president has caused these people who made mistakes -- Pete and Lisa made mistakes. And those mistakes hurt the Bureau, they hurt the investigations, they hurt their own careers, they hurt themselves and they hurt their families.
And they know that. They know that. They know they exercised poor judgement, they know they made mistakes, and they regret it, they're sorry about it. But as human beings, who make mistakes, you know, stop the presses, human beings make mistakes, right, and exercise poor judgment -- that happens.
And yet what happens on a day-to-day basis in public is that they're both subjected to this kind of language from the president --
(Cuomo cut in, asserting that Strzok and Page's extra-marital affair was "obviously a personal matter and had nothing to do with the FBI.")
To which Baker replied, "It's so depressing to me to see him relishing in the suffering of others and to hear the laughter that people expressed during his statement. It was just -- it was very disconcerting to me, and I just don't think it is the right thing to do. I think it's really quite reprehensible."
Lisa Page returned to the headlines on Monday, after giving an interview to The Daily Beast, in which she denied committing any crime and accused President Trump of trying to "destroy my life" by repeatedly making fun of her and Peter Strzok in public and via Twitter.
Page said she was particularly upset by Trump's remarks at an October campaign rally in Minnesota, where the president imagined an intimate conversation between the "lovers" who -- according to Trump -- were out to get him. The crowd laughed along with the president.
The Daily Beast also reported that Page "doesn’t think for a minute that her texts with Peter Strzok are too political."
On Monday night, Cuomo asked Jim Baker if he thinks the Strzok-Page text messages condemning Trump "betrayed an animus that infiltrated the (FBI) investigation" into Trump:
"I've never believed that," Baker replied, "because I worked very closely with Lisa and Pete, and I saw on a regular basis what it was that they were doing and what they were not doing. And I didn't see any evidence that any of their actions or failure to take logical actions were the result of any type of political bias.
"They were taking actions that made sense as investigators, that made sense as lawyers and, you know, they were not in charge of the FBI. Jim Comey was in charge of the FBI. And you know, the actions that they were taking did not appear to be driven by political considerations. It just wasn't the case."
The inspector-general's report on the FBI's alleged FISA abuse and its Trump campaign investigation will be released on December 9.
In a statement issued Monday, Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec tweeted:
The Inspector General's investigation is a credit to the Department of Justice. His excellent work has uncovered significant information that the American people will soon be able to read for themselves. Rather than speculating, people should read the report for themselves next week, watch the Inspector General's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and draw their own conclusions about these important matters.