News and Commentary

Ex-FBI Lawyer To Plead Guilty In Durham Criminal Investigation For Allegedly Falsifying Evidence
US Attorney General William Barr speaks at the Securities and Exchange Commission's Criminal Coordination Conference in Washington, DC, on October 3, 2019
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

A former FBI lawyer will reportedly plead guilty to falsifying a document that FBI officials used to renew FISA warrants that were used to surveil the Trump campaign in 2016.

The New York Times reported that the lawyer, Kevin Clinesmith, “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.”

Clinesmith is expected to be charged in federal court on one felony count of making a false statement.

The New York Times’ report repeatedly sought to downplay the significance of the development, attempting to portray it as falling short of what Trump allies have alleged happened.

For example, The New York Times states at the top of the report: “Prosecutors are not expected to reveal any evidence of a broad anti-Trump conspiracy among law enforcement officials.” The report then waits nearly 400 words before telling readers that Attorney General William Barr said last night on Fox News that the development that was coming today, which is on Clinesmith’s decision to plead guilty, was not “an earth-shattering development, but it is an indication that things are moving along at the proper pace, as dictated by the facts in this investigation.”

The New York Times failed to inform readers that Barr stated that “there are going to be developments, significant developments, before the election” that come out of the criminal investigation.

“There are two different things going on,” Barr said. “One, I’ve said that the American people need to know what actually happened, we need to get through the story of what happened in 2016 and 2017, now, out. That will be done.”

“The second aspect of this is, if people crossed the line, if people involved in that activity violated the criminal law, they will be charged,” Barr continued. “And John Durham is an independent man, highly experienced, and his investigation is pursuing apace.”

National Review Senior Writer David Harsanyi also took issue with the report, writing, “I won’t even link to the Adam Goldman story in the Times. He’s consistently been the most dishonest ‘reporter’ on this story in the country. It’s unmitigated hackery.”

Federalist co-founder Sean Davis also took issue with the way that The New York Times reported the story, writing: “The charging documents against Clinesmith prove the NYT piece is nonsense. On three separate occasions, Clinesmith and the FBI withheld from the FISA court the fact that Carter Page was a CIA source. On the fourth, Clinesmith doctored evidence.”

Fox News contributor Mollie Hemingway tweeted: “Intel source just described NYT’s writeup of Clinesmith story as ‘Beyond Pravda.’ ‘This totally insults my intelligence.'”

Republican National Committee spokesperson Elizabeth Harrington also called out the report for its bias, noting that the newspaper was not a “neutral arbiter” of the truth.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Ex-FBI Lawyer To Plead Guilty In Durham Criminal Investigation For Allegedly Falsifying Evidence