The identity of the FBI attorney who is accused of falsifying FISA documents in order to conduct surveillance on an adviser of President Donald Trump has been exposed.
Kevin Clinesmith, who was on the team of Special Counsel Robert Mueller during the Russian collusion investigation, has been outed.
And he was found to have sent anti-President Trump messages to his fellow FBI colleagues as he was involved in the investigation, The Washington Examiner reported.
Now he could be facing criminal charges in U.S. Attorney John Durham’s investigation into the origins of the Russian collusion hoax.
As part of the Justice Department watchdog’s now-completed investigation into alleged surveillance abuses, Clinesmith was found to have altered an email that was used by officials as they prepared an application renewal to present before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to obtain a warrant to electronically surveil Carter Page, a onetime foreign policy adviser for the Trump campaign.
Clinesmith was an attorney with the FBI’s National Security and Cyber Law Branch and worked under FBI General Counsel James Baker and Deputy General Counsel Trisha Anderson. He had worked on the Clinton email investigation as well as the Trump-Russia probe. Clinesmith was present in the FBI’s meeting with Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos in February 2017 in Chicago, Papadopoulos told lawmakers in 2018. An Australian diplomat’s tip about Papadopoulos claiming the Russians had damaging information about Hillary Clinton effectively prompted the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign, called Crossfire Hurricane, in July 2016.
Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s investigators found Clinesmith falsely asserted he had documentation to back up a claim while in talks with the Justice Department about the factual basis for a FISA warrant application renewal. He then took an email from an official from another agency that contained multiple factual assertions, added material of his own, and gave it to a fellow FBI official who was preparing an affidavit for the Page case. Clinesmith has been described in many media reports as a “low-level attorney,” but Horowitz said he “was the primary FBI attorney assigned to [the Trump-Russia] investigation in early 2017.”
Eagerly anticipated by Trump’s allies, Howoritz’s report is expected to be released to the public on Dec. 9, the inspector general announced this week. They believe it will reveal an effort to undermine Trump’s 2016 campaign in which the FBI misled the FISA court in its reliance on an unverified dossier compiled by British ex-spy Christopher Steele, whose research about Trump and his associates was partially funded by Clinton’s 2016 campaign and the Democratic National Committee through the Perkins Coie law firm and Fusion GPS.
Clinesmith exchanged a series of text messages the day after President Trump won the 2016 presidential election and proclaimed himself as part of The Resistance.
Clinesmith: “I am numb.”
Another employee who was not in the investigation: “I can’t stop crying.”
Clinesmith: “That makes me even more sad.”
Other Employee: “Like, what happened? You promised me this wouldn’t happen. YOU PROMISED…”
Clinesmith: “I am so stressed about what I could have done differently.”
Other Employee: “Don’t stress. None of that mattered. The FBI’s influence.”
Clinesmith: “I don’t know. We broke the momentum.”
Other Employee: “That is not so….”
Clinesmith: “I’m just devastated. I can’t wait until I can leave today and just shut off the world for the next four days…I just can’t imagine the systematic disassembly of the progress we made over the last 8 years. ACA is gone. Who knows if the rhetoric about deporting people, walls and crap is true. I honestly feel like there is going to be a lot more gun issues too, the crazies won finally. This is the tea party on steroids. And the GOP is going to be lost, they have to deal with an incumbent in 4 years. We have to fight this again. Also Pence is stupid.”
Clinesmith: “And it’s just hard not to feel like the FBI caused some of this. It was razor thin in some states. Plus my god damned name is all over the legal documents investigating his staff. So who knows if that breaks to him, what he is going to do.”