Identity Revealed of FBI Anti-Trump Official Accused of Altering Document

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Posted: Nov 22, 2019 5:50 PM
Identity Revealed of FBI Anti-Trump Official Accused of Altering Document

Source: AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

Kevin Clinesmith is the lawyer accused of altering a document related to the FBI's 2016 surveillance of the Trump campaign, according to The New York Times. Clinesmith stands accused of altering an email used by officials to continue a wiretap of former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page.  

(Via The New York Times)

The email Mr. Clinesmith handled was a factor during the wiretap renewal process, according to the [people briefed on the soon-to-be-released draft of the Justice Department's inspector general report on the origins of the Russia investigation]. Mr. Clinesmith took an email from an official at another federal agency that contained several factual assertions, then added material to the bottom that looked like another assertion from the email’s author, when it was instead his own understanding.

Mr. Clinesmith included this altered email in a package that he compiled for another F.B.I. official to read in preparation for signing an affidavit that would be submitted to the court attesting to the facts and analysis in the wiretap application.

The details of the email are apparently classified and may not be made public even when the report is unveiled.

While the media is referring to Clinesmith as a low-level lawyer, the inspector general has described Clinesmith as the primary lawyer in Bob Mueller's Russia investigation in 2017. Clinesmith conducted one of the interviews of former Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulous, according to Real Clear Investigations. Clinesmith is credited with connecting Papadopoulous with Joesph Mifsud, "a supposedly Kremlin-tied diplomat in London."

Before working on the Mueller investigation, Clinesmith worked on the 2016 probe of Hillary Clinton's emails, before joining the early investigation of the Trump campaign. 

Clinesmith left the Mueller investigation after the inspector general uncovered messages showing Clinesmith's anti-Trump political bias. In one instance, Clinesmith sent an instant message to co-workers after Trump won the 2016 election, saying "I am so stressed about what I could have done differently." 

According to The Times, Clinesmith resigned about two months ago after being interviewed by the inspector general's team reviewing the origins of the Russia investigation. In October, the Justice Department announced that its administrative review into the origins of the Russia investigation has shifted into a criminal inquiry.

This is a breaking story and will be updated as needed.