Former FBI lawyer sentenced for tampering with documents in Trump-Russia investigation

Former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith has been sentenced to a year of probation for tampering with documents in a Russian investigation.

Clinesmith was sentenced to a 12-month probation and 400 hours of community service on Friday after pleading guilty to making a false statement in a criminal case resulting from Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation into the Trump-Russia probe. Clinesmith admitted to doctoring an email that his colleagues depended on to justify surveillance of former Trump aide Carter Page. Clinesmith was initially referred for prosecution by the Justice Department’s inspector general’s office. This is where Clinesmith was originally accused of altering and email about Carter Page to say he was “not a source” for another government agency.

Prosecutors of the case said that Page’s status as a CIA source undermined investigators’ belief that he was acting as an agent of foreign power and should have been disclosed to the judge. US District Judge James Boasberg stated that “Courts all over the country rely on representations from the government and expect them to be correct.” Despite feeling that Clinesmith’s actions had hurt the integrity of the FISA Courts, Judge Boasberg still believed that Clinesmith and other FBI officials were not politically motivated in their actions. 

Clinesmith had told the courts that he was “ashamed” of his actions. Clinesmith stated that it had “harmed the very institutions that I cherish and admire.” He continued saying “I have a duty to take responsibility for my actions and mistakes.” Judge Boasberg went on to say “[Clinesmith] lost his job, and his government service is what has given his life much of its meaning. He was also earing $150,000 a year and who knows where the earnings go now. He may be disbarred or suspended from the practice of law.”

Carter Page had stated in his testimony that he also suffered greatly from unwarranted law enforcement and media scrutiny. Page went on to tell Boasberg that he had “no desire to see Clinesmith suffer.” Boasberg sentenced Clinesmith to a 12-month probation and 400 hours of community service with no time behind bars, a much lower sentence than the several months in jail that prosecutors were pushing for. Kevin Clinesmith so far is the only criminal case or conviction to come from the Durham investigation.




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