President Trump held a press briefing today from the White House shortly before he left to visit his ailing brother in New York. The President remarked on the announcement that FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith will plead guilty to deliberately fabricating evidence in a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant application as the first person to be charged in the Durham Investigation. ”
The President stated, “That’s just the beginning, I would imagine. This… what happened should never happen again,” Trump said at a White House briefing Friday afternoon. “You’ll be hearing more.” He also called Clinesmith a “corrupt FBI attorney,” part of former FBI Director James Comey’s “very corrupt FBI.”
The Department of Justice Inspector General Horowitz in November of 2019 issued a criminal referral for the role Clinesmith played in the FBI’s surveillance of Carter Page, a Trump campaign adviser. In Horowitz’s final report on the FISA abuse, Clinesmith altered an email used to keep up the spying operation and was referred to as the “Office of General Counsel attorney”. Clinesmith altered the CIA’s liaison’s email by inserting the words ‘not a source’ into it, making it appear that the liaison had said that Page was ‘not a source’ for the other agency” and passed it along to the FBI’s supervisory agent.
“Relying upon this altered email, [Clinesmith] signed the third renewal application that again failed to disclose Page’s past relationship with the other agency,” Horowitz concluded.
The court filing in federal district court in Washington gave no indication that Clinesmith is providing evidence against anyone else but John Durham and the DOJ have kept a tight lid on the investigation and it remains to be seen what may develop from this guilty plea.
Clinesmith’s Attorney, Justin Shur, said in a statement, “Kevin deeply regrets having altered the email. It was never his intent to mislead the court or his colleagues as he believed the information he relayed was accurate“. He added, “But Kevin understands what he did was wrong and accepts responsibility.”
Yesterday, Attorney General William Barr was interviewed by Fox News’ Sean Hannity and said, “There are two different things going on, Sean, 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 continued, “The second aspect of this is, if people crossed the line, if people involved in that activity violated criminal law, they will be charged. And John Durham is an independent man, highly experienced, and his investigation is pursuing apace. There was some delay because of COVID, but I’m satisfied with the progress and I’ve said there are going to be developments, significant developments, before the election“.
“But we’re not doing this on the election schedule,” Barr added. “We’re aware of the election. We’re not going to do anything inappropriate before the election. But we’re not being dictated to by this schedule”. He continued, “What’s dictating the timing of this are developments in the case“.
Barr stated, “You know, it’s not an earth-shattering development, but it is an indication that things are moving along at the proper pace, as dictated by the facts in this investigation“.
UncoverDC Investigative Journalist, Tracy Beanz, will have a more in-depth story soon.