Former President Donald Trump called the Russia-collusion investigation a “hoax.” As it turns out, it was much worse.
Ex-FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith was sentenced Friday to one year probation and 400 hours of community service for falsifying information used to further justify the Russia collusion probe, Fox News reported. Clinesmith knowingly doctored an email from Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign adviser Carter Page to persuade a judge to allow surveillance to continue.
Clinesmith pleaded guilty in August to falsifying an email to say that Page was “not a source” for the CIA even though he was working with the intelligence agency at the time, according to Breitbart. The email became part of the evidence used against Page at the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to further its investigation.
Had the FBI known the truth that Page was cooperating with another intelligence agency, it would have explained away his ties to Russia and proved he was not acting as an agent against the U.S. “At the time, I believed the information I was providing in the email was accurate, but I am agreeing that the information I inserted into the email was not originally there and I inserted that information,” Clinesmith said in court.
Facing sentencing maximums of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, Clinesmith’s defense team requested leniency. U.S. District Judge for the District of Columbia James Boasberg let him off easy citing the other harm that already befell Clinesmith, including losing his job, public shame, and the possibility of being disbarred — even though what he caused for Page was far more severe.
Democrats spent the first half of Trump’s presidency insisting he was elected because of Russian interference in the 2016 election. After nearly two years of investigation culminating in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, no real evidence of collusion with the Russians ever turned up, bolstering Trump’s claim that it was a politically-motivated witch hunt.
Shortly before leaving office, Attorney General Bill Barr appointed U.S. Attorney John Durham as special counsel to examine the way the investigation was launched and conducted by the intelligence agency. So far, Clinesmith’s is the only conviction to come out of Durham’s probe.
It’s becoming increasingly apparent that some in the Deep State knowingly fudged evidence to allow the government to spy on Trump.
Had this been a Democrat, or any other establishment Republican, proverbial heads would be rolling for the way he was treated. Instead, Trump had to endure this nonsense for years and only now might see his enemies get a modicum of their comeuppance.