In the Day #2 transcript released today FBI chief legal counsel James Baker was asked about a specific series of Lisa Page and Peter Strzok text messages on the evening President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey.
Comey was fired on May 9th, 2017. Later that night Peter Strzok and Lisa Page had the following text conversation:
5/9/17 8:14pm And we need to open the case we’ve been waiting on now while Andy is acting.
5/10/17 05:29am We need to lock in [REDACTED] in a formal chargeable way. Soon.
5/10/17 05:30am I agree. I’ve been pushing and will reemphasize with Bill [Priestap].
FBI chief legal counsel James Baker’s response to questions about this text message exchange indicates that President Trump (‘Trump’ or ‘POTUS’) was the name under the redaction.
This is in line with FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe previously saying he did actually open an immediate criminal investigation on May 10th, 2017.
According to his own admissions (NBC and CBS), Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe immediately began a criminal ‘obstruction’ investigation the next day, Wednesday May 10th; and he immediately enlisted Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
These McCabe statements line up with with text message conversations between FBI lawyer Lisa Page and FBI agent Peter Strzok – (same dates 5/9 and 5/10):
It now appears that important redaction is “POTUS” or “TRUMP”. [Yes, this is evidence that some unknown DOJ officials redacted information from these texts that would have pointed directly to the intents of the DOJ and FBI. [WARNING: Don’t get hung on it.]
The next day, Thursday May 11th, 2017, Andrew McCabe testifies to congress. With the Comey firing fresh in the headlines, Senator Marco Rubio asked McCabe: “has the dismissal of Mr. Comey in any way impeded, interrupted, stopped, or negatively impacted any of the work, any investigation, or any ongoing projects at the Federal Bureau of Investigation?”
McCabe responded: “So there has been no effort to impede our investigation to date. Quite simply put, sir, you cannot stop the men and women of the FBI from doing the right thing, protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution.”
However, again referencing his own admissions, on Friday May 12th McCabe met with DAG Rod Rosenstein to discuss the issues, referencing the criminal ‘obstruction’ case McCabe had opened just two days before. According to McCabe:
… “[Rosenstein] asked for my thoughts about whether we needed a special counsel to oversee the Russia case. I said I thought it would help the investigation’s credibility. Later that day, I went to see Rosenstein again. This is the gist of what I said: I feel strongly that the investigation would be best served by having a special counsel.” (link)