A federal judge in Washington on Friday slapped the hand of a former FBI lawyer who altered a key piece of evidence that enabled the Obama administration to obtain warrants to spy on the Trump campaign to advance its now-debunked Russia-collusion claim.
U.S. District Judge James Boasberg issued a sentence of 12 months probation to Kevin Clinesmith, who confessed to altering an email to make it falsely state that Trump 2016 campaign aide Carter Page did not work with the CIA.
Clinesmith admitted making a false statement, a felony offense that carries a term of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Boasberg argued Clinesmith already had been punished because he had lost public and professional “standing” due to the high-profile nature of the case.
However, the Washington, D.C., Bar Association, which has the power to remove his law license, still lists Clinesmith as an “active” lawyer in “good standing,” reported Paul Sperry for Real Clear Investigations.
Clinesmith’s actions fueled the Barack Obama administration’s effort to undermine Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and his presidency through the charge of colluding with Russia to win the election.
Clinesmith displayed personal bias when Trump was elected, stating “the crazies won finally” and calling Vice President Mike Pence “stupid.” He said “Viva la resistance” in reference to the “resistance” effort to undermine Trump.
Sperry reported Washington establishment figures have downplayed Clinesmiths’ actions, insisting he wasn’t part of any conspiracy.
“They argue Kevin Clinesmith’s crime of altering a CIA document to obscure the fact that former Trump campaign aide Carter Page worked for U.S., not Russian, intelligence was a rare lapse in judgment by an overworked bureaucrat,” Sperry explained. “It was not, his apologists say, part of any broader conspiracy to conceal exculpatory information from surveillance court judges, who never learned of Page’s history with the CIA before approving FBI warrants to wiretap him as a suspected Russian agent.”
But court papers show Clinesmith’s offenses, “which some civil libertarians call the most egregious violation and abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act since it was enacted more than 40 years ago,” show he knew all along about Carter Page’s cooperation with the U.S. government. And his supervisors in the FBI bureaucracy also knew it.
FoxNews.com reported Clinesmith was sentenced to 400 hours of public service along with probation.
His was the first, and, so far, only criminal case known to have arisen from special counsel John Durham’s review of the origins of the Obama administration’s Russia-collusion probe.
Clinesmith altered an email in which Page stated he had worked with U.S. intelligence agencies to falsely state that he had not. Prosecutors wanted Clinesmith to spend at least some time behind bars.
Sperry said some information about the case is surfacing because of a lawsuit filed by Page against Clinesmith and the FBI for $75 million in damages.
Page and his attorneys argue that the FBI obtained his electronic communications, both written and oral, based on fraudulent warrants in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights.
Sperry reported the evidence of Clinesmith’s hatred of President Trump was kept “safe with his chain of command.”
Lead FBI investigator Peter Strzok infamously vowed in a text to his FBI lawyer paramour, Lisa Page, to “stop” Trump from becoming president. A week later, the two discussed devising an “insurance policy” in the event Trump won. Also, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Sperry pointed out, discussed “covertly” wearing a wire to record the president in the Oval Office in an effort to remove him from office through the 25th Amendment.
Clinesmith admitted he intended to make it appear Page had not assisted the CIA when he had.
But Clinesmith had claimed he never intended to deceive anyone.
The fact that Page had been a CIA source undercut the premise that he was a Russian agent, which the Obama administration used to make its case that the Trump campaign was colluding with the Kremlin.
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