Former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith got a slap on the wrist after pleading guilty to making a false statement in the first criminal case from now-Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe. U.S. District Judge for D.C. James Boasberg said during Clinesmith’s sentencing hearing that he suffered by losing his job and standing in the eye of a media hurricane. Clinesmith was sentenced to 12 months of probation, 400 hours of community service, and no fine. Prosecutors were asking Clinesmith to serve a few months of jail time.
The inspector general accused Clinesmith of changing an email about former Trump adviser Carter Page to say he “was not a source” for another government agency. Page has confirmed he was a source for the CIA. The Department of Justice relied on Clinesmith’s claim as it submitted a third application in 2017 to listen in on Page under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Fox News reports:
The Justice Department’s charging document stated that Clinesmith “did willfully and knowingly make and use a false writing and document, knowing the same to contain a materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statement and entry in a matter before the jurisdiction of the executive branch and judicial branch of the Government of the United States.”
The document said he altered another official’s June 2017 email to say Page (referred to as “Individual #1”) was “not a source” when the original email did not contain those words.
Clinesmith, though, is the first and only criminal charge thus far stemming from Durham’s investigation, which began in May 2019, shortly after special counsel Robert Mueller completed his yearlong investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians to influence the 2016 presidential election.
Mueller’s investigation yielded no evidence of criminal conspiracy or coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian officials during the 2016 election.
Mueller’s investigation produced no evidence of coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian officials during the 2016 election despite months of baseless accusations. In December, former Attorney General Bill Barr appointed Durham as special counsel to continue investigating the origins of the Russia probe through the Biden Administration.
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