Politics

Plea Hearing for Former FBI Lawyer Involved in Trump Probe Set for Aug. 19

The plea hearing for Kevin Clinesmith, the former FBI lawyer charged with fraudulently altering an email during the bureaus probe of Donald Trumps 2016 presidential campaign, is scheduled for Aug. 19.

The hearing will take place at 1 p.m. Washington time by telephone/video conference, according to an update from the court.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg, a nominee of then-President Barack Obama, will preside over the plea hearing. Boasberg is the presiding judge for the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

U.S. Attorney John Durham charged Clinesmith with one count of making a false statement.

According to a court filing, the one-time FBI lawyer altered the content of an email he forwarded to an FBI special agent.

The message initially stated that Carter Page, a former Trump campaign associate, was a contact for the CIA. Clinesmith is accused of changing the message to read the opposite, that Page wasnt a CIA source.

Epoch Times Photo
An American flag flies outside the Department of Justice in Washington on March 22, 2019. (Andrew Harnik/AP Photo)

The FBI special agent then relied on the adulterated email to sign off on a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant application used to spy on Page, which was approved by the court Boasberg now oversees.

The probe of Page was riddled with errors, Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz found last year.

Durham was assigned by Attorney General William Barr to look into the origins of the investigation into Trumps campaign, dubbed internally by the FBI as Crossfire Hurricane. Clinesmith is the first person charged in the probe.

When asked why he altered the email, Clinesmith claimed he recalled the CIA liaison “saying that [Page] was not a source of theirs,” but rather “incidentally reporting information via a source of theirs.” When the inspector general asked the CIA liaison about the same, the liaison said “her email stated just the opposite.”

Clinesmiths attorney has told news outlets that his client plans to plead guilty. The lawyer hasnt responded to inquiries from The Epoch Times.

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