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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Alec Baldwin Lowest of the Low; Blames Victim For Shooting ‘Everything is at her Direction’
“Just when you think Alec Baldwin can’t go any lower, he blames Halyna Hutchins, the woman he shot to death, for getting shot to death” writes the New York Post. Naturally, Baldwin gifted his first interview since the tragic death of Hutchins to his Hampton’s buddy and leftwing media host George Stephanopoulos.
“Everything is at her direction,” Baldwin told George Stephanopoulos during the hourlong interview that aired Thursday night on ABC. Ultimately the entire one hour can be summed up by Baldwin’s twelve words: “Someone is responsible for what happened, and I know it’s not me.”
For any viewers looking for anything particularly meaningful from Baldwin or for him to answer tough questions, a sit-down with his liberal elite buddy was not the place to get it. “I’m holding the gun where she told me to hold it,” Baldwin said, “which ended up right below her armpit. Which is what I was told — I don’t know.”
He carried on, “I would never point a gun at anyone, and pull the trigger at them. Never.” Oddly he had just finished describing how he was pointing the gun at Hutchins.
Agent Bobby Chacon, a retired FBI agent who works as a writer and on-set consultant for Hollywood stated “The bullet striking and killing that woman came out of the barrel of the gun pointed directly at her…Bullets don’t curve. He isn’t in ‘The Matrix.’ The trigger would still have to be pulled.”
“I’m not aware of any gun firing itself,” says Steve Wolf, a Hollywood firearms and special-effects expert since 1994. “I’ve never seen a gun self-discharge. A single-action revolver like this” — the Colt that Baldwin fired — “can be discharged very easily, with minimal input required … The trigger still must have been pressed.”
Wolf is also outraged by a larger concern. “It’s really important to discredit anyone who claims that guns fire themselves,” he says. “If this becomes an acceptable defense, there goes any accountability when it comes to shooting people. We can’t have this kind of ‘guns shoot themselves’ thing. They don’t.”
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