WASHINGTON D.C.—Kevin Clinesmith, the former FBI lawyer, pleaded guilty in federal court on Wednesday, August 19, admitting that he changed the text in an email that was related to the surveillance of Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser, during the Russian investigation.
Clinesmith was a full-time employee in the FBI from July 12, 2015 to September 21, 2019. Clinesmith acknowledged that in 2017, he added “not a source” into an email that discussed the past relationship between Page and CIA to stress that Page was “not a source” for the government agency and later forwarded the email to a colleague. Page publicly claimed he was a source for the CIA.
Clinesmith’s action transpired before the fourth and final renewal application was submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Page was accused of being a Russian agent and was wiretapped.
“At the time, I believed the information I was providing in the email was accurate,” said Clinesmith. “But I am agreeing that the information I inserted into the email was not originally there and I inserted that information.”
Judge James Boasberg of the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia accepted Clinesmith’s plea and set a sentencing hearing for December 10. He could face a fine and his potential sentence could be zero to six months.
“On or about June 19, 2017, within the District of Columbia, the defendant, Kevin 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 and entry in a matter before the jurisdiction of the executive branch and judicial branch of the Government of the United States,” said U.S. Attorney John Durham to the court.