Yesterday The Washington Examiner reported that Kevin Clinesmith will plead guilty to charges of altering evidence involved in the surveillance of the Trump campaign in 2016.
The article reports:
Kevin Clinesmith, who worked on both the Hillary Clinton emails investigation and the Trump-Russia inquiry, will admit that he falsified a document during the bureau’s targeting of Carter Page, according to multiple reports. Clinesmith, 38, claimed in early 2017 that Page was “not a source” for the CIA when the CIA had actually told the bureau on multiple occasions that Page was an operational contact for them — a falsehood used to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act renewal against Page. Durham submitted a five-page filing to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Friday, noting Clinesmith was being charged under 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(3) for “False Statements.”
Attorney General William Barr had hinted at a “development” in Durham’s investigation during a Fox News interview on Thursday night.
Clinesmith’s responsibilities during the Trump-Russia investigation included communicating with “another specific United States government agency,” which is believed to be the CIA, as well as providing support to the FBI special agents working with the Justice Department’s National Security Division to pursue FISA warrants and renewals against Page.
Why is this important? The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) was passed to allow the FBI to track terrorists more easily. It was never intended to be used against American citizens who were not breaking the law. The falsifying of a document to allow the surveillance of Carter Page resulted in the violation of Carter Page’s civil rights (and unauthorized spying on the Trump campaign) . The use of FISA to spy on an opposition political campaign was simply Watergate using government surveillance warrants that were unjustified.
The article also notes:
In a scathing July 2018 inspector general report on the FBI’s Clinton emails investigation, Clinesmith was mentioned — again, not by name — numerous times as being one of the FBI officials who conveyed a possible bias against Trump in instant messages, along with Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page, both of whom have left the bureau.
In a lengthy instant message exchange between Clinesmith and another FBI employee on Nov. 9, 2016, the day after Trump’s presidential victory, he lamented Trump’s win and worried about the role he played in the investigation into Trump and his campaign. “My god damned name is all over the legal documents investigating his staff,” Clinesmith said, adding, “So, who knows if that breaks to him what he is going to do?”
Other messages showed Clinesmith, listed in Horowitz’s report as “FBI Attorney 2,” expressed favor toward Clinton and said “Viva le resistance” in the weeks after Trump’s win.
The July 2018 report shows Clinesmith claimed his messages reflected only his personal views and that his work was unaffected by them; Horowitz ultimately was unable to find that “improper considerations, including political bias,” influenced any investigative decisions.
Horowitz’s December report criticized the Justice Department and the FBI for at least 17 “significant errors and omissions” related to the FISA warrants against Page and for the bureau’s reliance on the Democrat-funded discredited dossier compiled by British ex-spy Christopher Steele. Declassified footnotes from Horowitz’s report indicate the bureau became aware that Steele’s dossier may have been compromised by Russian disinformation.
The DOJ watchdog called the FBI’s explanations for these mistakes “unsatisfactory across the board” and testified he wasn’t sure if the errors were “gross incompetence” or “intentional.”
In January, the Justice Department determined that the final two of the four Page FISA warrants “were not valid.” The FBI told the court it was working to ” sequester” all the information from the Page wiretaps, and FBI Director Christopher Wray testified to Congress he was working to ” claw back” that intelligence. The FBI director also testified that the bureau likely illegally surveilled Page.
“After several years, Kevin Clinesmith is finally being held accountable and pleading guilty to committing a felony for his involvement in the plot to falsely portray me and, by implication, the Trump administration as traitors. The actions by the full band of government officials and Democrat operatives involved in the creation of the false applications for my FISA surveillance warrants were entirely unconscionable,” Page said in a statement shared with the Washington Examiner.
I am sure there is more to come. The fact remains that the trial will probably be held in a Washington, D.C. court. It will be very interesting to see how the court rules. We may be about to find out if we actually do have equal justice under the law in America.