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Ex-FBI lawyer to plead guilty for lying in 2016 Trump-Russia probe

Attorney General William Barr testifies before a House subcommittee in his first appearance before lawmakers on Capitol Hill. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)
August 14, 2020

An ex-FBI lawyer involved in the 2016 investigation into alleged ties between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia, plans to plead guilty to making false statements

Lawyer Kevin Clinesmith is being charged in a federal court in Washington with one count of making false statements and will plead guilty, his lawyer Justin Shur told the Associated Press Friday.

Clinesmith was previously referred for potential prosecution by the Department of Justice’s inspector general’s office, after a review of the Russia investigation.

The inspector general’s office said Clinesmith, though not listed by name, altered an email about former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page to say that he was “not a source” for another government agency. Page reportedly had ties with Russian officials but was a source for the CIA in Russia-related investigations. The alteration to the email suggested Page was not cooperating with the U.S. government on Russian investigations and instead furthered suggestions he was colluding with Russians. The altered email was used as evidence for the FBI to renew a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) application used to eavesdrop on Page’s phone calls.

The new charges stem from an investigation by U.S. Attorney Jonh Durham, who was appointed last year to investigate the origins of FBI’s original Russia election probe.

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U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr said in an April 2019 Senate hearing that “spying did occur” against the Trump campaign.

The charges against Clinesmith can be seen on CourtListener.com.