Former FBI Attorney Kevin Clinesmith is expected to plead guilty to altering Carter Page evidence to support the FISA warrant used to spy on the Donald Trump campaign in 2016.
A top FBI lawyer who fabricated evidence in a federal spy warrant against Trump campaign affiliate Carter Page is expected to plead guilty to federal charges brought by U.S. Attorney John Durham. Kevin Clinesmith, who is expected to admit to “deliberately fabricating evidence in a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant application,” used to spy on a former campaign affiliate of President Donald Trump, was a top attorney in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Office of General Counsel (OGC) and a key agency attorney under fired former FBI Director James Comey.
Clinesmith is the first individual to be charged as part of U.S. Attorney John Durham’s investigation into the efforts in 2016 and 2017 to spy on the Trump campaign and Trump administration. Both Durham and Attorney General William Barr stated at the conclusion of the OIG investigation of the Page FISA warrants that they had reason to believe the entire investigation of Trump, which allegedly began in late July of 2016, was not legally predicated.
#Durham A source close to the matter confirms @CBSNews that former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith is expected to plead guilty as part the investigation led by US Attorney John Durham into the origins of the FBI’s 2016 Russia probe. In December 2019, IG Horowitz found Clinesmith… https://t.co/41KGzEmY31
— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) August 14, 2020
Clinesmith’s deliberate falsification of a federal spy warrant was first revealed last December following a lengthy investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of the Inspector General (OIG), headed by Michael Horowitz.
Horowitz and his team wrote in a 434-page report that Clinesmith altered an email from a separate U.S. federal agency, believed to be the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), to falsely state that Page had never worked with the CIA to investigate suspected Russia agents operating within the U.S. In fact, as Clinesmith was told by the operative, Page had worked with the CIA previously, as well as with the FBI, according to The Federalist.
This is the indictment filed today against Kevin Clinesmith, marking the first criminal charge in the Durham investigation into the origins of the Russia probe. He’s charged with a false statement charge and his attorney tells @AP he will plead guilty. https://t.co/htjXgKudZg
— Mike Balsamo (@MikeBalsamo1) August 14, 2020
Clinesmith’s name first made national news after his anti-Trump text messages to another FBI attorney, Sally Moyer, surfaced following a separate OIG investigation of anti-Trump bias from top FBI attorneys and investigators.
“I’m just devastated,” Clinesmith texted to Moyer shortly after Trump won the presidential election in November of 2016. “Plus, my god damned name is all over the legal documents investigating his staff,” Clinesmith wrote.
“Is it making you rethink your commitment to the Trump administration?” Moyer later asked Clinesmith, ostensibly referring to Clinesmith’s plan to remain at the FBI after Trump’s inauguration. “Hell no,” Clinesmith responded. “Viva le resistance.”