Former Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Agent Kevin Clinesmith is expected to plead guilty to one count of making a false statement to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) in what makes the first criminal charge arising from the investigation being conducted by U.S. Attorney John Durham, according to breaking news reports.
Kevin Clinesmith worked from July 12, 2015 to September 21, 2019 as an Assistant General Counsel for the FBI.
Clinesmith worked on part of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation into whether the Trump campaign was conspiring with the Kremlin to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.
The five-page charging document, filed by Special Attorney Durham, alleges that Clinesmith, “did willfully and knowingly make and use a false writing and document, knowing the same to contain a materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statement.”
In a statement, Clinesmith’s lawyer Justin Shur said, “Kevin deeply regrets having altered the email. 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.”
In analysis tweeted out by Catherine Herridge, Senior Investigative Correspondent for CBS News, she said the guilty plea by Clinesmith may indicate that he is cooperating with the Durham Probe which could help incriminate more senior FBI leadership, like former FBI Director James Comey or former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
“The question… is whether Clinesmith acted independently or at the direction of, or with approval of FBI leadership. Plea deals typically involve cooperation,” Herridge wrote.
The investigation by Special Attorney John Durham, as requested by Attorney General William Barr in May 2019, is looking into the origins of Crossfire Hurricane, and whether government intelligence officials improperly or illegally investigated the Trump campaign in 2016.
As recounted by The Federalist’s Sean Davis, shortly after the election of President Trump on November 3, 2016, Clinesmith lamented the results in text messages to FBI Attorney Sally Moyer.
“I’m just devastated,” Clinesmith texted to Moyer in November 2016. “Plus, my g** d***** name is all over the legal documents investigating his staff.”
Moyer later asked him whether the results of the election changed his plans to remain at the FBI in the next administration?
“H*** no,” Clinesmith responded. “Viva le resistance.”
The phrase is French for, “Long live the resistance,” and refers to the French Revolution.
Responding to the news of Clinesmith’s indictment, President Trump said at a Friday news conference, “He is pleading guilty, terrible thing. Fact is, they spied on my campaign, and they got caught.”
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Photo from NBC5