A judge has delayed sentencing until Jan. 29 for an FBI lawyer who admitted to falsifying a document to obtain a surveillance warrant in the investigation of President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.
U.S. District Judge James Boasberg of the D.C. District, appointed to the bench by then-President Barack Obama in 2011, has pushed back the sentencing for Kevin Clinesmith, Politico reporter Josh Gerstein posted to Twitter.
The reason, reportedly, is because Carter Page, the Trump campaign aide who had his communications surveilled as a result of the warrant obtained by Clinesmith’s alteration of an email, is seeking to be treated as a victim and get restitution, Gerstein reported.
Clinesmith was the first person charged — and pleaded guilty in August — in U.S. Attorney John Durham’s investigation into officials involved in the counterintelligence probe ”Crossfire Hurricane” of the Trump campaign which later became Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiry into a supposed conspiracy with Russian officials.
Durham, the U.S. attorney for the district of Connecticut who was directed to conduct the probe by recently departed Attorney General William Barr in May 2019, was given the title of special prosecutor in the matter in October.
Clinesmith admitted to altering a document that told the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court that Page ”was not” an asset of the CIA, reportedly when he was, in fact, known to be acting as a CIA informant. If Page was not a source of the CIA, then his numerous contacts with Russian officials would appear to be suspicious and therefore justify the warrant.
The surveillance led to further spying on the Trump campaign.
Durham has asked Boasberg to sentence Clinesmith to six months in jail 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.”
Clinesmith’s attorney has requested probation and community service, arguing his client’s “reputation has been ruined, his professional career is in shambles, and he has been unable to support his family financially at a time when he and his wife are expecting their first child.”
Trump, Republicans and others such as George Washington Law professor Jonathan Turley have accused officials from the FBI, Department of Justice and elsewhere of a politically motivated investigation intended to derail and undermine Trump’s election and presidency.
Clinesmith was later shown to have texted anti-Trump messages including ”Viva la Resistance.”