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Kevin Clinesmith, FBI lawyer accused of altering Carter Page FISA warrant, to plead guilty

August 14, 2020 GMT

A former FBI lawyer is expected to plead guilty to falsifying a document in the application to surveil former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, The New York Times reported Friday.

Kevin Clinesmith, 38, will enter the plea part of a deal with prosecutors investigating the origins of the Russia probe, the Times reported.

The case is the first public indictment brought by U.S. Attorney John Durham, who is investigating criminal activity in the early stages of the FBI’s probe into allegations of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign in 2016.

That probe eventually morphed into ex-special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Justice Department Inspector General Micheal Horowtiz last year uncovered that Mr. Clinesmith in 2017 altered an email from the CIA that the FBI used to obtain court approval to wiretap Mr. Page.

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Mr. Horowitz had referred Mr. Clinesmith for potential prosecution, though he was not identified by name.

Mr. Page had been helping the CIA collect information on Russia, but Mr. Clinesmith allegedly falsely changed the document to say that the Trump campaign did not have a relationship with the CIA.

The change occurred just before the last wiretap renewal.

Mr. Clinesmith, who worked for disgraced ex-FBI agent Peter Strzok, also praised “the resistance” to President Trump in a 2016 text message.

Just hours after Mr. Trump’s victory in the 2016 election, Mr. Clinesmith texted, “I am so stressed about what I could have done differently.”

Weeks later, he texted “Viva la Resistance!”

Attorney General William P. Barr appointed Mr. Durham last year.