Guilty Plea in Durham Investigation

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silverscreenselect
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Guilty Plea in Durham Investigation

#1 Post by silverscreenselect » Fri Aug 14, 2020 12:34 pm

Kevin Clinesmith, a former attorney for the FBI, will plead guilty to one count of willfully making a false document in connection with the FISA warrant obtained on Carter Page. Clinesmith had been identified last winter in the Inspector General's report (although his name wasn't widely mentioned), and I predicted then that he was going to take the fall. The way the information against him is worded and the fact that he's pleading guilty before any indictment is issued indicates that this plea is part of a plea bargain. Clinesmith was on record as making anti-Trump statements before leaving the FBI.

While I expect Trump to make a big deal out of this, I'm not sure how much of an effect it will have with the general public, especially considering the rather technical nature of the offense and Clinesmith's relatively low stature at the FBI. What his crime boils down to is that in the course of the last FISA application against Carter Page in June 2017 (months after Trump took office), Clinesmith altered a document having to deal with Page's relationship with the CIA. Prior to the last application, Page stated that he had "assisted the US government in the past." Clinesmith was asked to inquire if Page was an official source for the CIA, and, if so, what type of source he was. The original response Clinesmith got from the CIA referred to Page by some confusing acronym. Clinesmith inquired further and found out that Page was a "subsource" but not a "source" (whatever the difference is). Clinesmith then went back and altered the original email he got from the CIA that said "Page is an acronym" and added the words "and not a source."

So, as I said before, Clinesmith was guilty of sloppiness. Instead of asking his original contact to send a followup email explaining exactly what the confusing acronym was, he added the verbal explanation to the original email. I have a feeling from the original articles that came out that this sort of sloppiness may be fairly common at the FBI (and it is illegal), but it's not some massive criminal conspiracy against Trump. And it doesn't alter the overall picture that the warrants against Page were all based on substantial information, even though one piece of information about the last application was altered to clarify something that wasn't actually in the original document.

And by the way, the information about Clinesmith was in the original referral the Inspector General made to Bill Barr in November. In eight months of investigation since then, this is all they have come up with.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/14/politics ... index.html
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Re: Guilty Plea in Durham Investigation

#2 Post by silverscreenselect » Fri Sep 11, 2020 2:54 pm

An update on this story, which the right-wing press claimed was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of arrests and indictments connected with the FBI Trump probe:
Federal prosecutor Nora Dannehy, a top aide to U.S. Attorney John H. Durham in his Russia investigation, has quietly resigned - at least partly out of concern that the investigative team is being pressed for political reasons to produce a report before its work is done, colleagues said. Dannehy, a highly regarded prosecutor who has worked with or for Durham for decades, informed colleagues in the U.S. Attorney’s office in New Haven of her resignation from the Department of Justice by email Thursday evening. The short email was a brief farewell message and said nothing about political pressure, her work for Durham or what the Durham team has produced, according to people who received it.

Dannehy is a career prosecutor who worked closely with Durham before leaving the U.S. Attorney’s office about a decade ago for a corporate position in the defense industry. Durham persuaded her to return to the justice department and, within weeks, join his team in Washington in the spring of 2019. Colleagues said Dannehy is not a supporter of President Donald J. Trump and has been concerned in recent weeks by what she believed was pressure from Barr - who appointed Durham - to produce results before the election. They said she has been considering resignation for weeks, conflicted by loyalty to Durham and concern about politics.

Durham is notoriously circumspect and neither he nor members of his team have revealed anything about the direction of their work. But Durham associates, none of whom have specific knowledge of the investigation, have said recently that it is their belief he is under pressure to produce something - perhaps some sort of report - before the presidential election in November.
So, as I stated above, Durham's investigation has produced nothing other than a plea deal by a low-level FBI attorney who admitted to facts contained in the inspector general's report that was made public last year. But at least some people with ethics (translation: not Barr or Trump) don't care for the attempts to turn this into a political tool for Trump. Expect more nothing to follow.

https://www.courant.com/news/connecticu ... story.html
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