Former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith was sentenced Friday to one year of probation and 400 hours of community service for altering an email during the Russia investigation that was used as grounds for the surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
Back in August, Clinesmith pleaded guilty to “one count of making a false statement within both the jurisdiction of the executive branch and judicial branch of the U.S. government, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of up to $250,000.”
Clinesmith, who worked at the FBI for four years, had altered the email in the beginning stages of the bureau’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and potential collusion with the Trump campaign.
He changed another official’s June 2017 email to say that Page was “not a source” for the CIA. In a memo, however, the agency had previously informed investigators that Page from 2008 to 2013 was an “operational contact” for it and provided information about his contacts with Russian intelligence officers. Page has said, too, that he was a source for the agency.
Friday’s Clinesmith sentencing is so far the only criminal charge related to Special Counsel John Durham‘s investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe. The investigation began in May 2019 after then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded his yearlong Russia investigation, which produced no evidence of collusion between Russian officials and the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.
Back in December, then-Attorney General William Barr appointed Durham as special counsel to continue the investigation into Mueller’s probe, which conservatives and former President Donald Trump himself have accused of being a “witch hunt” motivated by political bias.
While sentencing him to probation and community service on Friday, U.S. District Judge for the District of Columbia James Boasberg gave Clinesmith no fine. The judge said that Clinesmith losing his job and being at the center of massive media attention had caused him to suffer.
During his Friday sentencing hearing, Clinesmith told the court he was “ashamed” of his actions, stating that they had “harmed the very institutions that I cherish and admire.”
“I have a duty to take responsibility for my actions and mistakes,” he also said.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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Trump: Tanks to Ukraine could escalate to use of ‘NUKES’
Former President Donald Trump stated bluntly on Truth Social, “FIRST COME THE TANKS, THEN COME THE NUKES. Get this crazy war ended, NOW. So easy to do!”
Trump was referring to the escalation of war in Ukraine. He, like many other commentators and lawmakers, are warning that the decision to continue sending weapons – and now tanks – could potentially lead to the use of “nuclear weapons.”
It’s mission creep and it’s dangerous, they say.
Why? Because Russian President Valdimir Putin has indicated in two different speeches that he would use nuclear weapons to defend Russia, if needed. Those warnings are not just bluster but a very real possibility.
And the escalation of war is visible.
Russia launched 55 missiles strikes across Ukraine Thursday, leaving 11 dead. The strikes come one day after the United States and Germany agreed to send tanks to Ukraine in an effort to aide the country. 47 of the 55 missiles were shot down according to Ukraine’s Air Force command.
Eleven lives were lost and another 11 were injured additionally leaving 35 buildings damaged in the wake of the attacks. According to The New York Times, Denys Shmyhal, said in a post on Telegram. “The main goal is energy facilities, providing Ukrainians with light and heat,” he said.
Ukraine is now demanding that they need F-16 fighter jets. In a post on twitter Ukrainian lawmaker, Oleksiy Goncharenko said, “Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.”
Morning. Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.
— Oleksiy Goncharenko (@GoncharenkoUa) January 26, 2023
The US has abstained from sending advanced jets in the chances that a volatile decision could foster more dangerous attacks like former President Trump’s post on Truth referred to. If the US did authorize the decision to lend Ukraine the F-16 jets Netherlands’ foreign minister, Wopke Hoekstra, would be willing to supply them. According to The New York Times, Hoekstra told Dutch lawmakers, “We are open-minded… There are no taboos.”
F-16 fighter jets are complex to work on, they are not the average aircraft that can be learned in a matter of weeks. It can take months for pilots to learn how to fly these birds. European and US officials have the concern that Ukrainian forces could potentially use the jets to fly into Russian airspace and launch attacks on Russian soil.
Western allies are trying to avoid such a provocation, because that could lead to nuclear warfare in reference to what Putin has said he would do to defend his country.
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