In today’s sentencing hearing, US District Judge James Boasberg, an Obama appointee, sentenced former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith to 12 months probation and 400 hours of community service for altering an email during the Russia investigation that was used to justify the surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
Last summer Clinesmith pleaded guilty to falsifying an email from the CIA to show that Page was “not a source” for the CIA, even though the original message from the CIA said that he was a source. The CIA had earlier told investigators in a memo that Page was an “operational contact” for the agency from 2008 to 2013 and provided information about his contacts with Russian intelligence officers.
Federal prosecutor John Durham, who was appointed by former Attorney General William Barr to review the origins of the FBI’s Russia investigation, had recommended a sentence of three to six months imprisonment to “send a message that people like the defendant—an attorney in a position of trust who others relied upon—will face serious consequences if they commit crimes that result in material misstatements or omissions to a court.”
By giving Clinesmith such a lenient sentence, Boasberg sent a message that he does not see falsifying evidence given to the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Court as a serious offense.
Since Boasberg also serves as the Presiding Judge of the FISA Court, he effectively gave deep state actors in the FBI and DOJ a green light to continue their abuse of this secretive tribunal. As a result, we can expect the Biden regime to double down on using our intelligence and law enforcement agencies to target its political opponents.
Instead of holding Clinesmith to account for the fraud that he perpetuated against the FISA Court, Boasberg displayed sympathy for Clinesmith, noting all the bad outcomes Clinesmith has endured as consequences of the actions he knowingly took.
“[He] lost his job, and his government service is what has given his life much of its meaning,” Boasberg said Friday. “He was also earning $150,000 a year and who knows where the earnings go now. He may be disbarred or suspended from the practice of law, you may never be able to work in the national security field again. These are substantial penalties.”
Boasberg added: “What is more, he went from being an obscure career government lawyer to standing in the eye of a media hurricane. He has been threatened, vilified and abused on a nationwide scale.”
At the sentencing hearing Clinesmith also continued to show no remorse for either the damage that he did to either Page specifically or to the United States in general. Instead, he portrayed himself as the victim:
Altering the email has forever changed the course of my life. I have lost the means to provide for my growing family…lost the ability to give back to my nation… the shame and remorse will stay with me forever.
One can not help but notice the disparity between the harsh treatment that federal prosecutors and judges have given to Trump associates caught up in the Russia Hoax, for example General Flynn, and the lenient or no consequences meted out to those who knowingly participated in this hoax.