Carter Page, the former Trump 2016 campaign aide who was spied on by the FBI, wants to speak at the sentencing for the man who pleaded guilty to altering an email to make it seem as though Page had not previously worked with the CIA.
As the Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross reported, Page filed a motion on Friday requesting he be granted restitution, arguing “that actions by Clinesmith and others on the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane team advanced the false theory that Page was a Russian spy.”
Leslie McAdoo Gordon, the attorney representing Page, said in the filing that Page should be allowed to speak at Clinesmith’s sentencing because he is a victim and the Crime Victim’s Rights Acts allows victims to speak at public court proceedings.
Clinesmith previously pleaded guilty to altering an email from the CIA regarding Page’s previous work with the agency. The CIA said Page had been a “operational contact” in years past, explaining his dealings with Russian officials. Clinesmith edited the email to include the line “not a ‘source,’” helping the FBI continue its investigation into Page and more broadly the Trump campaign.
As The Daily Wire reported, U.S. Attorney John Durham, who was recently appointed as special counsel to continue his investigation into the origins of the investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election, filed a motion requesting a prison sentence for Clinesmith. Durham specifically requested Clinesmith serve a prison term “between the middle and upper end” of the allowable sentencing guidelines. For his part, Clinesmith has requested probation without prison time.
When the Department of Justice’s Inspector General released a report in December 2019 regarding the FISA warrants against Page, it found 17 “inaccuracies and omissions,” including Clinesmith’s altered emails. Clinesmith told the IG if the FBI learned that Page had been a source for the CIA, it would have “drastically” changed how the FISA warrants against him were handled.
While Clinesmith acknowledged he had made a “grievous mistake” and “accepts full responsibility for it,” Durham maintained that the former FBI lawyer may have altered the email due to political bias. An IG report into the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server uncovered messages from Clinesmith disparaging Trump. In one message, Clinesmith wrote “Viva le Resistance,” an apparent reference to the Resistance Movement that sprung up immediately after Trump was elected.
The warrants against Page were used to fuel the media and anti-Trump movement’s claims that Trump colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election, even though a years-long, multi-million dollar special counsel investigation found no such evidence. The entire story was bolstered by media outlets reporting anonymous sources that didn’t even appear to have direct knowledge of the investigation or any of the allegations, referred to only as “sources familiar with the matter.” After the story was revealed to be false, media outlets and politicians stopped bring it up, but never had to answer for their repeated false claims.
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