Former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith was sentenced to 12 months probation and 400 hours of community service on Friday after appealing guilty to make a false statement in the first criminal case arising from Special Adviser John Durham’s inquiry into the origin of the Trump-Russia probe.
Clinesmith in August pleaded guilty to “making a false statement in both the jurisdiction of the U.S. government enforcement agency and the legal branch, a crime that carries a maximum sentence of five years and a fine of up to $ 250,000.”
U.S. District Judge for District of Columbia James Boasberg on Friday during Clinesmith’s sentencing hearing said Clinesmith had suffered by losing his job and facing a media hurricane.
Boasberg gave him a 12-month trial, 400 hours of community service and no fine.
Government prosecutors had asked Clinesmith to serve several months in prison, but Clinesmith’s defense had only advocated a trial.
“[He] lost his job, and his government service is what has given his life much of its significance, “Boasberg said on Friday. He also earned $ 150,000 a year and who knows where the revenue goes now. He may be excluded or suspended from law practice, you may never be able to work in the national security field again. These are significant penalties. ”
Boasberg added: “What’s more, he went from being an obscure career government lawyer to facing a hurricane in the media. He has been threatened, humiliated and abused on a nationwide scale.”
Clinesmith was initially referred for potential prosecution by the Office of the Inspector General of the Ministry of Justice, which conducted its own review of Russia’s investigation.
The inspector general had accused Clinesmith, but not by name, of changing an email about former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page to say he was “not a source” for another authority.
Page has said he was a source for the CIA.
The Department of Justice relied on Clinesmith’s claim when it filed a third and final application for renewal in 2017 to eavesdrop on Page under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
The Ministry of Justice’s loading document stated that Clinesmith “knowingly and knowingly did and used false writing and documents, with the knowledge of the same, to contain a materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statement and to enter into a matter competent to the Executive and Legal Branch of the United States Government”; States. “
The document said he changed another official’s June 2017 email to say that Sida (called “Individual # 1”) was “not a source” when the original email did not contain those words.
The submission stated that another official took Clinesmith’s amended email, trusted it and signed it, and submitted the renewed FISA application to the FISA Court.
“The application for FISA # 4 did not cover the individual’s history or status with OGA [other government agency], “read the document.
Clinesmith told the court on Friday that he was “deeply ashamed” and regretted his actions.
“Changing the email has changed my life forever,” Clinesmith said. “I have lost the means to provide for my growing family … lost the ability to give back to my nation … shame and remorse will remain with me forever.”
Justice Department prosecutor Anthony Scarpelli called Clinesmith’s crime “incredibly serious” and added that his actions had negative consequences for “the FBI, DOJ, FISC and the American public.”
Carter Page was also present at the trial and told the court that his life had been “seriously affected” by Clinesmith’s actions and said that at times during the trial he felt like a “man without a family”, constantly under media scrutiny.
In particular, Page asked Boasberg in particular to show Clinesmith favoritism.
However, Clinesmith is the first and only criminal indictment to date stemming from Durham’s investigation, which began in May 2019, shortly after Special Counsel Robert Mueller ended his year-long investigation into the Trump campaign colliding with the Russians to influence the 2016 presidential election.
Mueller’s investigation provided no evidence of criminal conspiracy or coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian officials during the 2016 election.
Last month, former Justice Minister Bill Barr appointed Durham as special adviser to continue investigating the origins of Russia’s probe through the Biden administration.
Barr announced in Senate and House law committees in a letter dated Dec. 1 from Fox News that Durham would be a special adviser.
“On May 13, 2019, I directed John Durham, the U.S. Attorney for the Connecticut District, to investigate certain intelligence and law enforcement activities surrounding the 2016 presidential election,” Barr wrote. “Although I had expected Durham to complete his work by the summer of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as additional information he revealed, prevented him from doing so.
“Before the presidential election, I decided to appoint Mr. Durham as a special adviser to assure him and his team that they could complete their work, regardless of the election result,” Barr wrote, adding that he appointed Durham with “powers and authority. for a special council “on 19 October.
In a scoping order, obtained by Fox News, Barr stated that Durham, as a special adviser, “has the right to investigate whether any federal official, employee or other person or entity violates the law in connection with intelligence, counter-intelligence or law enforcement activities aimed at the 2016 presidential campaigns. “Individuals associated with these campaigns and individuals associated with President Donald J. Trump’s administration, including but not limited to the Crossfire Hurricane and Special Investigation Councilor Robert S. Mueller, III.”
According to the US Code, the Special Adviser would prepare a “confidential report” and be ordered to “submit to the Attorney General a final report and such interim reports as he deems appropriate in a form that allows public dissemination.”
Fox News reported last month that Durham has expanded its team and is making “excellent progress” in its investigation.
It is now unclear who these prosecutors are.
Fox News reported in May that Jeff Jensen, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri who was used by the Department of Justice in February to investigate the case of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, assisted with Durham’s investigation. President Trump pardoned Flynn last month.
Also in May Fox News reported it Former District Attorney for the District of Columbia Timothy Shea also helped with parts of Durham’s investigation.
It is unclear at this time whether Jensen and Shea will continue to work with Durham, and who the additions to his team are.
Meanwhile, a source familiar with the investigation told Fox News last month that Durham, who is the U.S. attorney for Connecticut, now works “frequently” in Washington, DC Durham and some members of his team had done their work from New Haven, Conn., during the summer.
Fox News’ David Spunt contributed to this report.
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