A former FBI attorney will plead guilty to doctoring an email that led his agency to a former Trump campaign adviser, officials said Friday – what the president claimed is clear evidence that he “was on the spy” . “
Kevin Clinesmith will copy to lie, which helped lead to a renewed wiretapping of Carter Page, his lawyer confirmed – in what will be the first guilty plea produced by Special Prosecutor John Durham’s probe of the Russia investigation.
“The fact is, they were spying on my campaign, and they were caught,” Trump said Friday after news of Clinesmith’s lawsuit broke.
‘What happened should never happen. It’s a terrible thing. ‘
Officials from the Trump reelection campaign added in a statement that the “abuse of power” reflected in the Russian probe “represents the greatest political crime in American history.”
Durham has been investigating the Russian probe, which investigated alleged collusion between the Russians and Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, since May 2019, when he was appointed by U.S. Attorney General William Barr.
Clinesmith – who Trump called a “corrupt FBI attorney” – said in a Durham inquiry on June 15, 2017.
The email contained the wiretapping of Page – an energy executive who had previously passed information to the CIA about his contacts in Russia – amid the Russia investigation.
The Russian probe began in 2016 under the Obama administration and was taken over in 2017 by special adviser Robert Mueller.
Page was first approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in 2016 for a wiretapping, as investigators suspect Russian spies may be trying to target him. The order was renewed several times.
Then, under yet another application to renew the wire tap, Clinesmith’s supervisor asked him if the Trump adviser had ever been a source to the CIA, which could explain some of the seemingly damning things he might be up to. the telephone bands said.
Clinesmith, 38, sent his supervisor an email from the CIA saying Page was “not a ‘source”, according to court documents – when the original missive said he was.
“Kevin deeply regrets that he changed the email,” Clinesmith’s attorney, Justin Shur, said in a statement Friday.
‘It was never his intention to mislead the court or his colleagues because he believed the information he passed on was accurate. But Kevin understands what he did wrong and accepts responsibility. ”
Clinesmith is set to plead guilty to one count of making a false statement in federal court in Washington, DC.
Page was never charged with a crime.
Clinesmith’s guilty plea was raised by Barr on Thursday night in an appearance on Fox News ‘Hannity.’
“There are two different things happening,” Barr said. “I said the American people knew what really happened, we need to get the story of what happened in 2016 and ’17. … that will be done.
“The second aspect of this is, if people cross the line, if people involved in that activity violate criminal law, they will be prosecuted,” he said.
Clinesmith was eventually removed from the Russian probe after Mueller discovered he shared anti-Trump sentiments.
In text messages, Clinesmith slammed Trump and his supporters, writing to another FBI official, ‘I honestly think there will be a lot more gun problems, even the crazy ones eventually won. This is the Tea Party about steroids. And the GOP will be lost. ”
He also wrote, “Viva le resistance.”
Mueller’s final report found no evidence of a criminal conspiracy between the Russian government and the Trump campaign.
His report added that it could not reach a conclusion on the question of whether the president obstructed justice by apparently resisting the investigation.
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