Dave S

Oh so this is why the left is so active in the playbook today.

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Durham probe: Ex-FBI lawyer to plead guilty in first criminal case arising from review, sources say

By Brooke Singman, Bill Mears

Published August 14, 2020

Fox News

 

Former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith will plead guilty to making a false statement in the first criminal case arising from U.S. Attorney John Durham's review of the investigation into links between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign, two sources close to the matter tell Fox News.

 

Clinesmith was referred for potential prosecution by the Justice Department's inspector general's office, which conducted its own review of the Russia investigation.

Specifically, the inspector general accused Clinesmith, though not by name, of altering an email about former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page to say that he was "not a source" for another government agency. Page has said he was a source for the CIA. The DOJ relied on that assertion as it submitted a third and final renewal application in 2017 to eavesdrop on Page under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

 

 

Clinesmith is being charged in federal court in Washington and is expected to plead guilty to one count of making a false statement, his attorney Justin Shur told The Associated Press.

 

Durham was appointed by Attorney General Bill Barr last year to investigate the origins of the FBI’s original Russia probe, shortly after former Special Counsel Robert Mueller completed his years-long investigation into whether his campaign colluded with the Russians to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Durham’s timeline was focused on July 2016, when the FBI’s original Russia probe began, through the appointment of Mueller in May 2017.

Mueller’s investigation yielded no evidence of criminal conspiracy or coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian officials during the 2016 election, though the question of whether Trump obstructed justice was left open in the final report.

 

 

The development Friday comes amid much speculation, and even a tip-off by Barr, who said on Fox News’ “Hannity” that there would be a “development” in the investigation, teasing that it wouldn’t be “earth-shattering,” but would be “an indication that things are moving along at the proper pace as dictated by the facts in this investigation.”

 

“There are two different things going on,” Barr said. “I said the American people need to know what actually happened, we need to get the story of what happened in 2016 and ’17 out. That will be done.”

 

Barr also said that “if people crossed the line, if people involved in that activity violated criminal law, they will be charged.”

 

Barr touted Durham as an “independent” and “highly experienced” man, and said his investigation is “pursuing apace,” despite delays he blamed in part on the coronavirus pandemic.

 

 

Meanwhile, last month, Fox News reported that a declassified document revealed that the FBI agent who delivered a defensive briefing on election interference to the Trump campaign in August 2016 “actively listened” for certain topics – using it as a “cover” to monitor then-candidate Donald Trump and Michael Flynn, a source familiar with the document said.

 

The agent delivering the briefing was Joe Pientka. Pientka's notes followed an Aug. 17, 2016 briefing to then-candidate Trump, Michael Flynn and Chris Christie, "in support of ODNI briefings provided to U.S. Presidential candidates and two of their advisors."

 

The document was dated Aug. 30, 2016, and filed under “Crossfire Hurricane,” the FBI’s code name for its investigation into whether the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians to influence the 2016 election; “Crossfire Razor,” the FBI’s code name for the investigation into Michael Flynn; "Russia Sensitive Investigative Matter," and FARA, the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

 

The document stated that Clinesmith and FBI official Peter Strzok "approved" Pientka's notes.

 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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I posted this in The Storm thread, but it is a nice followup to the OP:

 

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 was tapped by Barr in May of 2019 to investigate the Russian collusion hoax and determine whether any criminal charges against those who perpetrated it were warranted.

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 — identified in the report as “OGC Attorney” — 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 OIG report, Clinesmith “[o]mitted Page’s prior relationship with another U.S. government agency, despite being reminded by the other agency in June 2017, prior to the filing of the final [FISA warrant] renewal application, about Page’s past status with that other agency.”

“Instead of including this information in the final renewal application,” the OIG report stated, Clinesmith “altered an email from the other agency so that the email stated that Page was ‘not a source’ for the other agency, which the FBI affiant relied upon in signing the final renewal application.”

Following the completion of the OIG investigation into the abuse of the FISA process by Comey and his lieutenants, the federal court that reviews FISA warrants ruled that at least two of the four applications against Page were illegal, including the application that included Clinesmith’s fabricated claim that Page never previously assisted the CIA. Page’s previous work for the federal government was a key issue given that each of the FISA warrants used to spy on him falsely claimed that he was an illegal Russian agent working on behalf of the Kremlin. Page was never formally charged with any wrongdoing.

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.”

The full federal charging document detailing Clinesmith’s crimes can be found here.

Sean Davis is the co-founder of The Federalist.

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1 min ago, RiverRaider said:

I wonder who Clinesmith ratted out as part of the plea deal 

 

Strozyk most likely (?) 

That's the big question. 

 

Obviously he'll point to his immediate superior. but who else?  

 

And what will he say was said to him or in conversation?    

 

 

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Just now, Dave S said:

That's the big question. 

 

Obviously he'll point to his immediate superior. but who else?  

 

And what will he say was said to him or in conversation?    

 

 

 

In reality,  it's very possible that he acted alone 

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