Unlike most of the indictments in the Mueller probe, this is not a mere process crime:
“WASHINGTON — A former F.B.I. lawyer intends to plead guilty after he was charged with falsifying a document as part of a deal with prosecutors conducting their own criminal inquiry of the Russia investigation, according his lawyer and court documents made public on Friday.
The lawyer, Kevin Clinesmith, 38, who was assigned to the Russia investigation, plans to admit that he altered an email from the C.I.A. that investigators relied on to seek renewed court permission in 2017 for a secret wiretap on the former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, who had at times provided information to the spy agency. Mr. Clinesmith’s lawyer said he made a mistake while trying to clarify facts for a colleague.
Right off the bat: investigators “relied on” this altered email to seek renewed court permission to wiretap Carter Page. They’re talking about the FISA warrants, but they’re trying to obfuscate that fact. Also, when NYT uses the term “Russia investigation,” what they really mean is that Clinesmith was part of the Mueller investigation team. There’s a lot of obfuscation in this NYT article, actually.
Not only that, but look at the NYT sub-headline which is obviously trying to spin this in favor of the Obama Deep State and as a setback for Trump:
I have more respect for the leftists who admit they think the FBI was right to be engaged in an anti-Trump conspiracy; the ones who want to destroy Trump by any means necessary. At least they’re honest. But the holier-than-thou “Respectable Journalist”-types who still sit here and pretend this was all on the up-and-up; it’s some of the most flagrant gaslighting we’ve ever seen.
Second point about Clinesmith: I find it difficult to believe an FBI lawyer–as in someone who is an expert on the law–could claim negligence here. He “didn’t know” it was wrong to retroactively alter an email that FBI investigators later brought before the FISA court to seek permission to wiretap a former Trump campaign staffer?
In layman’s terms, what Clinesmith did is known as “fabricating evidence.” I guess Clinesmith was asleep for that lesson in law school.
On the other hand, it’s very hard to prove intent. And Clinesmith and his lawyer obviously know that. So of course he’s going to pretend to be a dummy.
HOWEVER, unfortunately for Mr. Clinesmith, his text messages to his FBI colleagues from after the 2016 election were made public long ago, and so we know quite a bit about his personal feelings about Trump:
It gets better, though: Clinesmith was the “Vive La Resistance!” attorney whose texts were revealed in 2018:
“The inspector general’s report focuses on instant messages that the attorney exchanged with a colleague about the Clinton and Russia probes.
“I am numb,” the attorney wrote on Nov. 9, 2016, the day after President Trump’s election.
“I am so stressed about what I could have done differently,” the lawyer continued, apparently referring to the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email probe.
The attorney’s messages show that he was distressed at the FBI’s decision in October 2016 to re-open the investigation into Clinton’s emails. Democrats have claimed that decision hurt Clinton at the polls.
The FBI lawyer also suggested that he would work to resist the Trump administration.
“Is it making you rethink your commitment to the Trump administration?” one FBI lawyer wrote on Nov. 22, 2016.
“Hell no. Viva le resistance,” the future Mueller attorney responded.
This guy does not deserve the benefit of the doubt or anything close to it. None of them do. Hell, Comey’s tweets alone since he got fired would suffice as proof of his vehement anti-Trump agenda.
These guys are all guilty as sin. And everybody knows it.
All that said, I do not have high hopes for the Durham investigation. I think it’s extremely foolish to get your hopes up that Obama, Brennan, Comey and the rest are going to jail. When has anything like that ever happened in this country? When has any inner-circle member of the Elite ever been anywhere close to facing any sort of accountability whatsoever? Maybe Clinton during his impeachment. Maybe. But he still ultimately got away scot-free.
The more likely way this plays out is that we get a few more arrests of scapegoats and fall-guys–names only the hardest of hardcore political news-junkies and Twitter addicts will recognize–and that’s it. The biggest name will probably be Andrew McCabe, but I’m sure he’ll ultimately skate. There will be no “broad, anti-Trump conspiracy” uncovered, there will be no cleaning house at the FBI or the DoJ.
There will be no reforms to ensure FBI power is never abused like this again.
I hate to rain on the parade but face it: the DoJ and FBI are still to this day stocked with Obama Loyalists and Deep Staters and fall guys who are determined to make sure Durham’s investigation goes nowhere. Even assuming Durham is the picture of integrity and patriotism, the odds are still stacked heavily against him.
And that’s not to mention the fact that if Durham goes after the Big Fish like Obama, Biden, Rice, Brennan and Comey, the media will go into full Defend Obama Phalanx Mode. Is Durham willing to invoke the full wrath of the media by actually going after the Dons and Capos of the Deep State Mafia? There is nothing the media won’t do to ruin Durham’s reputation and life. They’ll fabricate a sexual assault accusation against him. They’ll accuse him of RACISM! They’ll send Antifa goons to his house to bully and intimidate his family. They’ll bring on Very Serious Analysts and talk about how this is Election Meddling and “playing politics” (as if everything they did to Trump for the past five years wasn’t).
They will come after him with everything they’ve got. Every dirty trick will be deployed. If you thought Kavanaugh was bad, this will make that look like a Dean Martin roast.
Is he really ready for all that?