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Ex-FBI Lawyer Pleads Guilty In First Criminal Case Arising From Durham Probe

By | Been Written

Contributing Writer | Telegraph Local

AP News is reporting that Former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith 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.

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. 

According to CBS News, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz found in his December 2019 report that Clinesmith had altered a CIA email cited in the fourth application to the FISA court to surveil former Trump campaign aide Carter Page in 2017.

Clinesmith altered an email stating that Page was a government “source,” adding words to make it appear that the government agency, later revealed to be the CIA, was saying that Page “was not a source,” according to the Justice Department’s information in the case. 

What Is The Durham Probe?

The Durham Probe is an investigation led by U.S. Attorney John Durham of Connecticut, The investigation involves looking into issues related to the origins of the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation.

Specifically, Durham has been charged by Attorney General William Barr to investigate those people who were handling the Trump-Russia investigation, at the time helmed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in 2016.

According to Fox News, The Justice Department also revealed that Durham, himself, is investigating the unmasking of Trump campaign associates as part of his broader review.

That line of investigation was confirmed after Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., made public a list of Obama officials who purportedly requested to “unmask” the identity of Michael Flynn, who at the time was Trump’s incoming national security adviser.

US News reports that Justin Shur, Clinesmith’s attorney, said that “Kevin deeply regrets having altered the email,” and “It was never his intent to mislead the court or his colleagues, as he believed the information he relayed was accurate, but Kevin understands what he did was wrong and accepts responsibility.”

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