FBI Lawyer Kevin Clinesmith Admits He Lied by Larry C Johnson

Kevin Clinesmith FBI Liar

Our “beloved” mainstream media is going out of its way to ignore today’s guilty plea by FBI lawyer, Kevin Clinesmith, who admitted he lied to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court about Carter Page’s prior relationship with the CIA. But it was not a drafting error or a failure to remember a critical detail. It was a deliberate altering of a communication (a classified email) from the CIA.

Let us start with the relevant portions of John Durham’s complaint, which explains Clinesmith’s crime. (Note–I had to copy and paste images of the PDF because it is formatted in a way that does not permit copy and paste of text.)

Here are some notes to help you understand the acronyms:

OGA–Other Government Agency, which in this case is shorthand for “CIA.”

Individual #1–This is Carter Page.

Digraph Source–A digraph is a two letter acronym for a CIA Division. In this case it means “NR” aka National Resources Division. NR, according to Wikipedia, is the domestic division of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. Its main function is to conduct voluntary debriefings of U.S. citizens who travel overseas for work or to visit relatives, and to recruit foreign students, diplomats and business people to become CIA assets when they return to their countries.

Here is the key information you should understand when you read the Durham complaint. The entire Crossfire Hurricane team, which includes Jim Comey, Andy McCabe, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, had received a document from the CIA notifyng the FBI that Carter Page had been an “approved” operational contact for NR from 2008 to 2013. That message provided in detail the information that Carter Page had passed to the CIA.

This failure to include this information in the first and succeeding FISA applications was not the fault of Kevin Clinesmith. That is entirely on the hands of Jim Comey and Andy McCabe. They were in charge. They had a moral an ethical obligation to inform the FISA court that Carter Page had been in contact with Russian intelligence officers while working on behalf of the CIA.

Here is what we know from the first FISA document–Carter Page was clearly identified as likely working for the Russians.

Carter Page blurb from FISA

The FBI officials did not share the CIA information about Carter Page with the FISA Court. How do I know this? Because on the even of submitting the fourth FISA FBI officials directed Kevin Clinesmith to go back to the CIA and ask about Carter Page’s status as a CIA source.

If the FBI had been playing this whole sordid affair straight they would have put something like the following in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd FISAs:

  • Carter Page was an active source for the CIA from 2008 to 2013.
  • We are unable to determine if Carter Page’s actions from 2014 to present were conducted without the knowledge of the CIA.

The FBI would have covered its corrupt ass if it had inserted language like that into the FISA. Instead, Clinesmith was tasked to revisit the issue with the CIA point of contact and the same information supplied in August 2016 was once again sent to the FBI.

Here is the Durham complaint on this point:

“B. Individual #1′ s Prior Relationship With Another Government Agency

  1. On August 17, 2016, prior to the approval of FISA #1, the OGA provided certain members of the Crossfire Hurricane team a memorandum (“”August 17 Memorandum””) indicating that Individual #1 had been approved as an “”operational contact”” for the OGA from 2008 to 2013 and detailing information that Individual #1 had provided to the OGA concerning Individual #1′ s prior contacts with certain Russian intelligence officers. The first three FISA applications did not
    include Individual #1’s history or status with the OGA.”
  2. Prior to the submission of FISA #4, Individual #1 had publicly stated that he/she had assisted the United States government in the past. During the preparation of FISA #4, an FBI Supervisory Special Agent (“SSA”), was was the affiant on the FISA #4, asked the defendant to inquire with the OGA as to whether Individual #1 had ever been a source for OGA.
  3. On June 15, 2017, the defendant sent an email to a liaison from the OGA (“OGA Liaison), stating, “We need some clarification on [Individual #1]. There is an indication that he “may be a””[ digraph]””1 source. This is a fact we would need to disclose in our next FISA renewal. .. To that end, can we get two items from you? 1) Source Check/Is [Individual #1] a source in any capacity? 2) If he is, what is a [digraph] source (or whatever type of source he is)?””
  1. Later that same day, the OGA Liaison responded by email in which the liaison provided the defendant with a list (but not copies) of OGA documents. That list included a reference to the August 17 Memorandum the OGA had previously provided to certain members of the Crossfire Hurricane team. The liaison also wrote that the OGA uses the [digraph] to show that the encrypted individual…is a [U.S. person]. We encrypt the [U.S. persons] when they provide reporting to us. My recollection is that [Individual #1] was or is … [digraph] but the [documents] will explain the details. If you need a formal definition for the FISA, please let me know and we’ll work up some language and get it cleared for use.
  2. The defendant subsequently responded that same day to the OGA Liaison via email with “”Thanks so much for that information. We’ re digging into the [documents] now, but I think the definition of the [digraph] answers our questions.”””

Here is where Clinesmith shot himself in the legal foot. The FBI Senior Agent wanted to make sure that Page was not and had not been a source. Durham’s complaint states:

Complaint re Clinesmith

Clinesmith’s own words–“CIA CONFIRMED HE WAS NEVER A SOURCE.” That is a lie. All Clinesmith had to do, to maintain even the charade of integrity, was to note that Page had been a source but was not an NR source since 2014. He did not do that. He then did something more egregious–he inserted the following into the CIA email:

“My recollection is that [Individual #1] was or is “”[digraph]”” and not a “”source”” but the [documents] will explain the details. If you need a formal definition for the FISA, please let me know and we’ ll work up some
language and get it cleared for use”

The CIA left open the possibility that Page still was a NR source. But Clinesmith changed the CIA officer’s email by inserting the phrase, “AND NOT A SOURCE.”

I want to close by focusing on the crime of Comey, McCabe and others on the CrossFire Hurricane team who received and/or knew of the CIA communication in August of 2016. They could have disclosed that to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. They chose to hide it. I think it is reasonable to assume that this is one of the remaining lines of investigation that Durham is pursuing. This path leads to the top of the FBI.

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6 Responses to FBI Lawyer Kevin Clinesmith Admits He Lied by Larry C Johnson

  1. blue peacock says:

    Do you think this plea deal matches the felony crime? An American’s liberty was stripped by a secret court on the basis of false evidence.

  2. JohninMK says:

    After the Supreme Court the FISC is probably the most important in the US as it is a Star Chamber, the Court that does not allow defendants to know they are being tried let alone defend themselves. This in a real legal system gives it a special responsibility to take extra steps to make sure that it is being told the truth.
    That a senior Government attorney felt that he was safe, in presumably following orders as he is unlikely to have made this up for himself, in blatantly falsifying a key document talks volumes i.e. lying to the Court.
    If he is not now made an example of, but instead gets a ‘Wolfe’ type punishment, it will inevitably impact the credibility of the FISC as all will know the revised parameters.
    How on earth this was allowed to happen but the irony is that the head judge of the FISC is the one overseeing this case. If it is he that lets off Clinesmith with a slap on the wrist punishment it cannot be blamed on another, perhaps non FISC related judge, it is he who is damaging one of the fundamental underpinnings of his own Court.
    I note that he has given himself until the 10th December, carefully after the election, to make his decision.

  3. Larry Johnson says:

    Blue Peacock
    Yes. I think the plea deal included Clinesmith’s agreement to provide testimony regarding who knew about the CIA email. Clinesmith was not a mastermind nor a leader in this endeavor. He was a water carrier. This conviction hurts him in a big way. His career as a lawyer is over.

  4. Deap says:

    Nonsense, his career is not over. MSNBC or CNN will always have a place for him as a distinguished insider pundit.
    He just can’t ever practice law again, too bad. But the real money is at MSNBC or CNN. And he obviously was a lousy lawyer so good riddance to him and his ilk.

  5. Jim says:

    Thank you very much Larry.
    When Durham went out of his way, [along with Barr], to let IG Horowitz know that the IG was in error; this is precisely among reasons why, i.e., what we learned from Clinesmith Information.
    Horowitz, in error: “we advised the Inspector General that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened,” Durham stated in writing the day Horowitz IG report published Dec. 9, 2019.
    The Information [indictment without grand jury] of Clinesmith make perfectly clear exactly why Durham and Barr called out Horowitz:
    Crossfire Hurricane team, led by Comey and McCabe, and they, supervised by then AG Lynch and DAG Yates — The CH Team in August 2016 possessed the Carter Page material, prima facie evidence: showing Page status and role and historical status and role with CIA.
    And, as Durham told Horowitz and the world Dec. 9: “our investigation is not limited to developing information from within component parts of the Justice Department. Our investigation has included developing information from other persons and entities, both in the U.S. and outside of the U.S.” [Makes me wonder if Sir Kim Darroch etc. has been interviewed.]
    I remain intrigued by the ongoing enigma: IF [because] FISAs #1 #2 #3 went through — hiding the Page CIA history; THEN: what caused FBI in June 2017 to seek information they already had. And, why was Clinesmith tasked.
    Durham’s December 9 rebuke of Horowitz may among many other things be saying: deeming Clinesmith a Patsy is not going to happen?
    Durham told Horowitz, essentially, that the IG was in error by failing to discover — as Horowtiz at the time, Dec. 9, claimed in his report, that there WAS predicate to . . .
    Barr and Durham told Horowitz he was dead wrong.
    For what it is worth, recall how the major media — those that take the license to lie and obfuscate and confuse the public, constantly, said when Barr and Durham admonished Horowitz.
    This, from our lovely “paper of record” NYTimes, Dec. 9:
    Headline: [Barr and Durham Publicly Disagree With Horowitz Report on Russia Inquiry
    The attorney general reprised his role as a vocal defender of President Trump.]]
    And the story thus began:
    [[WASHINGTON — When the Mueller report was made public this spring, Attorney General William P. Barr seemed to try to blunt its findings, playing them down in an early summary and defending President Trump at a news conference just before its release.
    On Monday, when the Justice Department’s inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, rejected one of Mr. Trump’s main attacks on the F.B.I. and declared the bureau had adequate reason to investigate the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, Mr. Barr again stepped in, issuing a statement saying that the F.B.I. instead should not have opened the investigation in 2016.]]
    Mind you, this is not some mentally retarded patient or some freak, high on Fentanyl.
    The NYTimes continues:
    [[Mr. Barr’s willingness to side with Mr. Trump over law enforcement, even when it contradicts his own department’s assessments, illustrates why he is one of Mr. Trump’s most important allies.
    His pronouncement on Monday comes at a time when the president is on the verge of being impeached over accusations that he abused his power. And Mr. Barr’s past pronouncements that it is nearly impossible for the president to break the law when exercising his authorities have been adopted by Mr. Trump’s allies as they try to push back on the impeachment inquiry.]]
    This is not from the mouth of a drug-crazed, mentally retarded person in need of help.
    It’s from our “paper of record” written by Katie Benner.
    The Mueller fiasco, and what preceded it, being exposed . . . how far will the exposure extend?
    Or, as Charles Lipson recently asked in Real Clear Politics essay, titled, “Will the Dam Break After Clinesmith’s Plea?”
    Lispson wrote: [[the Clinesmith indictment is a telling puddle where the ground should be dry. It’s a troubling omen for those who violated Carter Page’s rights, spied on the Trump campaign, and systematically abused the powerful tools of law enforcement. They are living downstream, and they should be worried.]]

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