• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • Hey Guest. Check out the NeoGAF 2.2 Update Thread for details on our new Giphy integration and other new features.

Ex-FBI Lawyer To Plead Guilty In Durham Look At Russia Probe

DeepEnigma

Gold Member
Dec 3, 2013
44,135
86,622
1,355


WASHINGTON (AP) — A former FBI lawyer 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.

Kevin Clinesmith is being charged in federal court in Washington and is expected to plead guilty to one count of making a false statement, his attorney Justin Shur told The Associated Press.

The case against Clinesmith is likely to be cheered by President Donald Trump and his supporters as they look to the Durham investigation to lift Trump's wobbly reelection prospects and to expose what they see as wrongdoing as the FBI opened an investigation into whether the Trump campaign was coordinating with the Kremlin to sway the outcome of the 2016 election.

The Durham investigation, which is also examining the intelligence community's assessment about Russian election interference, has caused deep concern among Democrats, who view it as a politically charged exercise meant to relitigate an already closed investigation and fear criminal charges or public reports issued so close to the 2020 election could be timed to affect November's vote.

The investigation has proceeded alongside a parallel effort by Senate Republicans to discredit the Russia probe and as Attorney General William Barr has escalated his own criticism of the FBI's probe.

Barr foreshadowed the legal action in a Fox News Channel interview on Thursday night in which he said there would be a development Friday that was “not earth shattering” but would be an indication that the investigation was moving along.

Justice Department policy directs prosecutors not to take investigative steps for the purpose of affecting an election and frowns upon taking public actions in the weeks before an election. But Barr has said he did not feel constrained by that policy in part because the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden, is not a target of Durham's investigation, and Barr has signaled that he will look to make Durham's findings public before the election.

Clinesmith was referred for potential prosecution by the department's inspector general's office, which conducted its own review of the Russia investigation.

That review found that the Russia probe was opened for a legitimate reason and did not find proof of political bias, but it also concluded that the FBI made significant errors and omissions as it applied for secret national security warrants to eavesdrop on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

Specifically, the inspector general accused Clinesmith, though not by name, of altering an email about Page to say that he was “not a source” for another government agency. Page has said he was a source for the CIA. The Justice Department relied on that assertion as it submitted a third and final renewal application in 2017 to eavesdrop on Page under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Clinesmith told the inspector general that from his conversations he did not understand Page to be a source, or a “recruited asset,” or to have a direct relationship with another government agency. But that relationship was seen as something important to disclose to the FISA court, especially if Page was being tasked by the government to have interactions with Russians.

“Kevin deeply regrets having altered the email," Shur said. “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.”

Durham is the U.S. attorney for Connecticut and a veteran prosecutor with a history of special assignments from Washington. Former Attorney General Eric Holder selected him during the Obama administration to investigate the CIA's harsh interrogation techniques of terror suspects and the destruction of videotapes documenting that interrogation.

Barr appointed Durham just weeks after special counsel Robert Mueller concluded his nearly two-year investigation. Mueller found significant contacts during the 2016 campaign between Russians and Trump associates but did not allege a criminal conspiracy between them.

Mueller also examined multiple episodes in which Trump sought to affect or choke off the Russia investigation, but he did not reach a conclusion on whether Trump had obstructed justice.

Barr signaled his skepticism with the Russia investigation right away, concluding that Trump had not obstructed justice even though Mueller had pointedly left that question unresolved.

More recently, Barr stepped in to dismiss the criminal case against former Trump administration national security adviser Michael Flynn even though Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, and Barr overruled prosecutors to seek a lighter prison term for Trump confidant Roger Stone. The Republican president commuted Stone's sentence last month.

 

DeepEnigma

Gold Member
Dec 3, 2013
44,135
86,622
1,355

DeepEnigma

Gold Member
Dec 3, 2013
44,135
86,622
1,355
That AP rundown in the OP seems to be trying to portray Trump in a bad light as much as possible without being blatant about it.

Very much non-objective "reporting", in my opinion.

APs true intentions were that of a cabal producing the propaganda scripts for all to share in lockstep. They are entirely unnecessary in the internet age.
 

NickFire

Member
Mar 12, 2014
8,221
8,925
870
I am very curious as to why anyone would be taking a plea with Biden's expected coronation around the corner. If Biden wins then poof --> it all goes away if the only person or people charged are little known rank and file.

I won't be shocked if he was facing greater charges, and agreed to a plea deal / cooperation agreement with respect to why "he believed the information he relayed was accurate." Time will tell.
 

hollams

Member
Dec 12, 2007
272
194
1,125
I thought this was a news article so what is this doing in there, "to lift Trump's wobbly reelection prospects". That isn't reporting the news that is adding your own spin to the news.

Also ,
“Kevin deeply regrets having altered the email," Shur said. “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.”

What the......it takes some effort to alter an email it's not some kind of slip of the tongue. What other reason would you have to alter an email other than to deceive.
 
  • Thoughtful
Reactions: Ryujin

Tell_men

Member
Apr 13, 2020
446
709
375
autoduelist autoduelist I hear you on complete role reversal. Both sides seem to launch these super big investigations, but they only catch the small fish or things come to an inconclusive draw. Been this way my entire life. Bush started unjustified wars. Clinton got the interns and was seen partying it up on Epsteins island. Both still standing.

Meanwhile... CNN reports on this:

 

Zefah

Gold Member
Jan 7, 2007
43,860
23,922
1,805
Doubt anything major will come out of all of this, but it's good to see what really went down.

Obama's perfect record of corruption has ended today. It's only going to get worse.

BUT HIS ONLY SCANDAL WAS WEARING A TAN SUIT
 
Last edited:
  • LOL
Reactions: Burnttips