Wednesday, former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith plead guilty to making a false statement.
This was the first criminal case to come from US Attorney John Durham’s review of the investigation into the links between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia.
U.S. District Judge James Boasberg accepted Clinesmith’s plea.
In a statement, Clinesmith’s attorney Justin Shur said “Kevin deeply regrets having altered the email. It was never his intent to mislead the court or his colleagues as he believed the information he relayed was accurate.”
He added “But Kevin understands what he did was wrong and accepts responsibility.”
President Trump reacted by saying “The fact is they spied on my campaign and they got caught. And you’ll be hearing more.”
Sean Davis offered a “play by play” on Twitter.
In a criminal hearing before federal Judge James Boasberg, former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith just informed the court that he pleads guilty to the charge of doctoring evidence included in the FISA warrant against Carter Page. The judge has not yet accepted the plea.
Boasberg, who currently presides over the FISA court, said he would recuse himself from the case if either the prosecution or the defense wished for him to do so. Both DOJ and Clinesmith’s attorneys said they do not wish for Boasberg to recuse himself.
Boasberg points to a 10-page plea agreement between Clinesmith and DOJ, signed by Clinesmith, and asks if that is the plea agreement Clinesmith intends to be binding. Clinesmith says that is correct. That 10-page plea agreement has not yet been made available to the public.
Boasberg asks Clinesmith if he admits, per the criminal information and the plea agreement, to deliberately altering an e-mail about Carter Page to state something that he knew was not true. Clinesmith claims he believed the information was accurate when he doctored the e-mail.
Boasberg follows up with Clinesmith and asks if he deliberately altered a CIA e-mail to say something about Carter Page that the CIA never said. Clinesmith states that he did deliberately doctor the e-mail from the CIA.
Boasberg just said that, based on the law and the evidence and Kevin Clinesmith’s statement, he accepts Clinesmith’s guilty plea for doctoring evidence in a FISA warrant application against Carter Page and finds Clinesmith guilty of one count in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1001.