Image 01 Image 03

Former FBI lawyer to plead guilty for falsifying FISA document on Carter Page

Former FBI lawyer to plead guilty for falsifying FISA document on Carter Page

By all appearances, Kevin Clinesmith must be cooperating with investigators. Are there bigger fish about to be snared by prosecutor John Durham?

The big news today in the John Durham investigation of was that former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith will be pleading guilty for altering documents in connection with a FISA application to spy on Carter Page.

AP reported the development:

A former FBI lawyer plans to plead guilty to making a false statement in the first criminal case arising from U.S. Attorney John Durham’s investigation into the probe of ties between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign, his lawyer said Friday.

Kevin Clinesmith is accused of altering a government email about a former Trump campaign adviser who was a target of secret FBI surveillance, according to documents filed in Washington’s federal court. His lawyer, Justin Shur, told The Associated Press that Clinesmith intends to plead guilty to the single false statement count and that he regrets his actions.

The case against Clinesmith was cheered by President Donald Trump and his supporters as they look to the Durham investigation to lift Trump’s wobbly reelection prospects and to expose what they see as wrongdoing as the FBI opened an investigation into whether the Trump campaign was coordinating with the Kremlin to sway the outcome of the 2016 election.

“The fact is they spied on my campaign and they got caught,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Friday. His political campaign issued its own statement saying “abuses of power” in the Russia investigation “represent the greatest political crime in American history” and everyone involved should be held accountable.

Sean Davis at The Federalist explains the significance of Clinesmith’s actions:

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….

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 charging Information (pdf.) filing was short — only five pages — and contained only a single Count of filing a false document.

That’s not surprising, since we can assume Clinesmith is cooperating with investigators.

And if he is, he may know a lot about a lot of people involved in spying on the Trump campaign, transition team, and administration:

That short filing was used by the NY Times and others to downplay the significance of the filing, emphasizing in the sub-headline to its story: “Prosecutors did not reveal any evidence of the kind of broad anti-Trump conspiracy among law enforcement officials that the president has long alleged.”

Compare this to the hoopla surrounding process crimes in the Mueller investigation, where not a single person ever was charged with election conspiracy, but every person charged with lying to the FBI was treated as proof that Trump was a Putin puppet.

The usual suspects are declaring the Durham investigation illegitimate and a nothingburger.

I’ve been so dissapointed with Republican-led investigations that I’m not hoping for much more.

But let me be very clear what I want to see: James Comey frog-marched in an orange jumpsuit, legs shackled and hands bound at his waste, leading a chain gang of Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, Samantha Powers, and John Does Nos. 1-13, into the federal courthouse, with the unsealing of an indictment naming mysterious persons “Renegade” and “Celtic” as unindicted co-conspirators.

You can’t take away my dreams.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


Fingers crossed that we wake up tomorrow to find out more have been arrested via a 4 a.m. house call a la Roger Stone.

This document was used to obtain a FISA warrant?

As a society, we run on trust. We trust our police officers to carry guns and protect us against bad people. We trust the FBI more, because they cover a much larger field and deal with substantially larger dangers, like mass shooters and multi-state criminal gangs. We trust the counter-intel section of the FBI even more because they have the awesome responsibility of defending us against foreign nations who want us destroyed. In this rarefied field of extreme trust, we have a very few agents who are entrusted with the responsibility of creating FISA warrants, a secret document that evades normal Constitutional protections extended to the people because we’ve agreed as a nation that this extreme measure must only be held in the hands of the most trustworthy people.

Then we have Clinesmith.

The man did not lie about a traffic ticket. He did not lie on a no-knock drug warrant for a dealer. He did not lie on a warrant to bug a mob boss. He did not even lie to get a warrant against a US Senator. He lied to get a FISA warrant against the campaign of a US Presidential candidate. He forged a document from the CIA, inserted it into the warrant, and swore it was the truth. He lied many other times, but this is the one we’re looking at now.

This is a crippling blow against the trust we give our Federal law enforcement agencies. An FBI that really cares about the trust they have been given to guard would nail this man’s hide up on the wall on the FBI headquarters with a sign, “He betrayed the trust of the US people. Don’t be like him.” (There would be spaces beside it for future hides.)

Instead, he’s going to get a slap on the wrist. He will serve no time. The DOJ won’t threaten him with decades of jail time for his lies, like they were so proud to do for Stone, an elderly braggart who they wanted to see die in prison. He’ll probably write a book, declaring his innocence against the Evil Trumpian Empire. He’ll get a multi-million dollar advance from the publisher, which it will never earn out. But we can’t call that a bribe. We can’t even call it justice. But at the least, it’s a first step, although small.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to georgfelis. | August 14, 2020 at 11:20 pm

    “……Whatever you call it, the fact remains that Donald Trump has been the first US president to be under continued investigation for the entire 4 years of his first term, and for about a year before it as well. And that should be a cause for alarm for anyone who cares even a little bit about the American political system, including those who abhor Trump……”

    Valerie in reply to georgfelis. | August 14, 2020 at 11:48 pm

    It’s a safe bet Kevin Clinesmith will be disbarred for his unethical behavior.

    randian in reply to georgfelis. | August 15, 2020 at 4:25 am

    Somebody will pony up a multi-million dollar advance order for that book. That is the source of the bribe, and covers the publisher by making it look like it really did earn out the advance.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to georgfelis. | August 15, 2020 at 8:17 am

    Maybe he could end up with a persistent IRS audit?

    Wow, you sound like a real journalist!

    I am a retired Federal Agent and I worked in a position that it took 6-9 mos for an FBI agent to attain a high enough clearance to work with my organization. Most people don’t know that 99% of FBI agents work in field offices with little to no contact with other FBI offices. The FBI is very compartmentalized so one field office has no idea what the other field offices are doing.

    Clinesmith is getting 5 years instead of 20 because he gave Durham info, if not the would have given him 20 on the greater charge.

    Yes, they do a very important job and we must have trust in all agencies. I have never used social media or will I ever use it. I would never send a text on a Gov phone or send an email on a official govt server that would tip anyone to my political views. I had the privileged of working wIth 400 men who were devoted to the rule of law and finding absolute truth. Unfortunately the FBI was infiltrated by people who wanted to drive policy in the US. The commander and Chief dictates policy and as a govt employee or military leader you execute those orders handed down from those who are elected.
    I look at Lt Col Vindman, his job was to give advice “IF ASKED” no where in his job description does it say that Lt Col Vindman was entitled to set foreign policy. Vindman didn’t understand that the new sheriff makes his own decision, unlike the last POTUS who let others make decisions based on deniability. As a veteran I can tell you that Vindman did not understand his place in the world of NationaL Security.

    There is a disease in the federal govt and it caused by non elected employees thinking they set and drive policy.

What do you bet … slap on the wrist, no jail time, no disbarment?

Any takers?

    If this is part of a deal to avoid the greater charge mentioned in the story, then the plea deal will be contingent on cooperation. In other words, yeah he gets a slap on the wrist but only if he helps land bigger fish.

    Or, if Trump loses the election, he is suddenly found to be in violation of the plea deal – whether he is or not – and gets the book thrown at him. The rest of the cases that might have come from it disappear.

    If Clinesmith cops to a felony, his license to practice law is gone. However, as a bona fide member of “la Resistance”, the number of professorships, media analysts or authorships available to him will pay his rent for decades to come.

Sydney Powell points out that Clinesmith and his lawyers all claim that Clinesmith did not intentionally mislead the court or other investigators. If true, then no judge can accept Clinesmith’s guilty plea. Something fishy here.

Barr catches a minnow. Will his next step up be a sardine?

When will hillary clinton and obama be in chains?

    You never took my wager about Durham/Barr’s indictments. Since Clinesmith was technically a plea “on information” and Horowitz had already pretty much nailed him publicly, I’m going to give you what they call in golf parlance a “gimmee.” How about it? Any more arrests or you going to continue your annoying “Barr is doing nothing” schtick?

    I still have my $100 to WAJ Media if you want to wager no more arrests/indictments.

This guy threw his career, reputation, even freedom away for what? Politics? The “resistance?” No. This was to ultimately to cover up years, decades of corruption and other criminality. He must have sung like a bird to get to this plea. This is Durham/Barr ringing the deep states doorbell.

Clinesmith did not kill himself.

The case against Clinesmith was cheered by President Donald Trump and his supporters as they look to the Durham investigation to lift Trump’s wobbly reelection prospects

Really? Wobbly re-election prospects?

    Because the drive-by’s are drunk by the time they concoct fake polls….

    navyvet in reply to gonzotx. | August 15, 2020 at 8:16 am

    “The case against Clinesmith was cheered by President Donald Trump and his supporters as they look to the Durham investigation to lift Trump’s wobbly reelection prospects”

    This is pure AP propaganda. It has no place in a legitimate, objective story.

    The MSM does this all the time, and it is reprehensible.

      navyvet in reply to navyvet. | August 15, 2020 at 8:21 am

      Try this version:

      “The case against Clinesmith was cited by President Donald Trump and his supporters as they look to the Durham investigation to prosecute abuses of power and other illegal actions sanctioned by the previous administration.”

      See how that works?

Blaise MacLean | August 14, 2020 at 11:06 pm

I have always had a belief that the rank and file FBI agents who actually had to carry out the “grunt work” would be able to provide good information.

To Wit:

When George Papadopoulos (herein GP) returned from London a squad of FBI agents was at JFK waiting for him to search him. What were they looking for? The $10,000.00 he had been given in London and which he had, with great foresight, left in the hands of a lawyer (I think in Greece). He was rightly suspicious.

So he did not have the cash with him. Yet the agents thought he did. So it raises a number of questions:
(a) Who decided to plant the money?
(b) What was the source of the money?
(c) What was the intention behind giving GP $10,000.00?
(d) Who told the agents waiting for GP at JFK that:
(i) GP was arriving/flight number etc?
(ii) that he would be carrying $10,000.00?
(e) Who ordered/directed them to conduct that interception and search?

Somebody had to tell those agents what to do. Who was that somebody? You find that person and then follow the trail and a lot will be discovered, I believe.

The FBI, inclusive of Wray, is clearly corrupt from the lowliest man in the field to the very top. I personally think this agency runs on corruption like a car on gas. The agents retire to cushy jobs beyond their training, with undeserved cushy pensions beyond the public’s means. They work to frame and smear the innocent as they are hired to do, play Democratic Party and union politics, set free the guilty and convict the innocent. Most of the time with the cooperation of the DOJ which clearly does exactly the same, and Federal judges, the Obama Judges, who take great pleasure in convicting political enemies but freeing the liberal guilty. Judges like Sullivan, Jackson Berman, Howell, Contreras, etc.
As Barr himself opined…there are clearly two systems of justice in America.

I don’t believe the DOJ wants to have any trials that could expose the truth. Remember all the immunity deals they gave Hillary associates? How about the Wolf plea bargain? Wake me up when the trials start and the coup plotters face real danger.

    amwick in reply to r2468. | August 15, 2020 at 8:50 am

    I don’t think the DOJ got the full story about Wolfe. More deception. That being said, I am not holding my breath until there is more action.

Its a small start, better be lots more or we are doomed

Clinesmith, with no conspiracy charge, must have acted all by himself (insert laughter here),which makes him the designated fall guy to take attention off of the “bigger fish”. He’ll get a slap on the wrist and Barr will tell us that it’s all over.

I’m starting to suspect that there’s only one known photo of this Durham guy.

People, some people in legal circles, kick around this phrase,, something about poisonous fruit… as an example,

Just wondering when, and if this will kick in.

Lucifer Morningstar | August 15, 2020 at 9:05 am

“Hell no,” Clinesmith responded. “Viva le resistance.”

Really? Clinesmith admits he’s committing treason against the legally elected President and all he gets is indicted for altering a federal document? Great Maker, if this is an example of the exalted Durham Investigation/Report that we’ve all been long told to wait for then the traitorous, criminal democrats have nothing to fear.

A bit of trivia for you. In the show Billions, actor Paul Giamatti modelled his character after John Durham

Mueller prove $50,000,000 campaign expenditure attempting to benefit the democrats. Clinesmith donated his entire salary.

Mueller probe $50,000,000= campaign expenditure attempting to benefit the democrats. Clinesmith donated his entire salary.

Just a couple of thing here.

First, the vast majority of the people who were involved in the Coup were attorneys. Interesting that.

Second, the way the DOJ is structuring these plea deals, makes it very difficult for them too maintain any leverage over the person who accepts the deal. Rather than nail down the testimony of th defendant first, file charges and mount a prosecution on other, bigger fish, before having the defendant granted a plea deal which is usually based on vague “cooperation” of the defendant. This makes one wonder if federal prosecutors are inherently incompetent or if they build these things to allow a defendant to escape justice while protecting the bigger fish. Now the DOJ can point to Clinesmith as being responsible for the fraudulent Carter Page FISA application, while providing cover for the higher-ups involved.

We’ll see just how far this goes. Personally I will be gobsmacked if if any DOJ, FBI or CIA executives are charged. And, nothing will happen to anyone from State.