Thomas Gallatin / February 2, 2021

Obama Judge Goes Easy on Clinesmith

The staffer who altered an email on Carter Page in order to ensure a FISA warrant gets probation and no jail time.

In a decision that is immensely frustrating to conservatives who endured years of government officials engaging in a willful attempt to subvert and ultimately remove a duly elected president, Judge James Boasberg sentenced Kevin Clinesmith to 12 months probation and 400 hours of community service. Who is Kevin Clinesmith? He’s the individual responsible for altering an email to indicate that Carter Page was “not a source” for the CIA when in fact he was. The alteration was significant in that it paved the way for the FBI to obtain its FISA warrant to initiate surveillance on Page, who was then Donald Trump’s campaign adviser. That was the FBI’s way in to the candidate himself.

Clinesmith is the only individual to date to be charged by John Durham’s investigation into the origins of the Russian-collusion hoax. Yet even he was essentially given a slap on the wrist by Judge Boasberg, a Barack Obama appointee who ridiculously contended, “Mr. Clinesmith has lost his job in government service — what has given his life much meaning.” In other words, the poor guy just made a mistake that has already cost him his job, so we really need to go easy on him.

However, Page addressed the judge and pressed against such simplistic and naïve assumptions, arguing that the damage he had personally suffered, including death threats, were due in part to Clinesmith’s criminal actions. “This manufactured scandal and associated lies caused me to adopt the lifestyle of an international fugitive for years,” Page contended. “I often have felt as if I had been left with no life at all. Each member of my family was severely impacted.”

Judge Boasberg also asserted, “Mr. Clinesmith likely believed that what he said about Mr. Page was true.” This assertion runs counter to the prosecution’s position that Clinesmith held strong animus toward Trump out of which his actions against Page flowed. The prosecution argued that Clinesmith needed to suffer prison time in order to “deter others from committing similar crimes.”

The Wall Street Journal editorial board notes, “Friday’s sentencing will fuel cynicism about two-tiered justice. While George Papadopoulos served time in prison for making false statements to the FBI, and a federal judge refused to drop charges against former national security adviser Michael Flynn after the Justice Department said they had no basis, a top law enforcement official who abused his police powers while operating in secrecy escapes with probation.”

There’s also likely a bit of rear covering at play for Boasberg. The Daily Wire observes, “It should be noted that Judge Boasberg sat on the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the secret court that granted the numerous warrants against Page. He is now the presiding judge of that court.”

Still, the big looming question remains: In exchange for this lightest of sentences, did Clinesmith serve up someone higher up the chain to Durham? If that is indeed the case, then this slap on the wrist of a low-level member of the deep-state cabal may be worth a lot more than it currently appears.

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