Former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith will plead guilty to making a false statement in the first criminal case stemming from U.S. Attorney John Durham’s review of the investigation into Russia’s links to the Trump campaign. 2016, two sources familiar with the matter told Fox News.
Clinesmith has been fired for potential prosecution by the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Justice, which has conducted its own review of the Russia investigation.
Specifically, the Inspector General accused Clinesmith, but not by name, of altering an email regarding former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page to say he was “not a source” for another. government agency. Page said he was a source for the CIA. The DOJ relied on this claim when it submitted a third and final renewal request in 2017 to eavesdrop on Page under the Foreign Intelligence Review Act.
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Clinesmith is indicted in federal court in Washington and is expected to plead guilty to one count of misrepresentation, his attorney Justin Shur told The Associated Press.
Durham was appointed by Attorney General Bill Barr last year to investigate the origins of the original FBI investigation into Russia, shortly after former special counsel Robert Mueller ended his multi-year investigation for find out if his campaign was in collusion with the Russians to influence the 2016 presidential election.
Durham’s timeline was focused on July 2016, when the initial FBI investigation into Russia began, via Mueller’s appointment in May 2017.
Mueller’s investigation found no evidence of criminal conspiracy or coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian officials in the 2016 election, although the question of whether Trump obstructed justice was left open in the report. final.
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Friday’s development comes amid much speculation, and even a warning from Barr, who said on Fox News’ “Hannity” that there would be a “development” in the investigation, teasing that it would not be. “Upsetting”, “But would be” an indication that things are progressing at the right pace, as the facts of this investigation dictate. “
“There are two different things going on,” Barr said. “I said Americans need to know what really happened, we need to relate what happened in 2016 and 2017. It will be done. “
Barr also said that “if people cross the line, if people involved in this activity break the criminal law, they will be charged.”
Barr presented Durham as an “independent” and “very experienced” man, and said his investigation “was proceeding at a steady pace”, despite delays which he attributed in part to the coronavirus pandemic.
SOURCE SAYS FBI AGENT USED 2016 ELECTORAL INTERFERENCE BRIEFING AS ‘COVER’ FOR TRUMP TEAM QUESTION
Meanwhile, last month Fox News reported that a declassified document revealed that the FBI agent who gave a defensive briefing on election interference in the Trump campaign in August 2016 had “actively listened” to certain topics – using it as a “cover” to monitor next – candidates Donald Trump and Michael Flynn, a source familiar with the document said.
The agent in charge of the briefing was Joe Pientka. Pientka’s notes follow an August 17, 2016 briefing to Trump, Michael Flynn and then-candidate Chris Christie “in support of the ODNI briefings provided to the presidential candidates and two of their advisers.” .
The document was dated August 30, 2016 and filed under “Crossfire Hurricane,” the FBI’s code name for its investigation into whether the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians to influence the 2016 election; “Crossfire Razor,” the FBI code name for the Michael Flynn investigation; “Sensitive Investigative Matter on Russia” and FARA, the Law on Registration of Foreign Agents.
The document stated that Clinesmith and FBI official Peter Strzok “approved” Pientka’s notes.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.