I suspect it’s impossible to incur weighty punishment for any legal transgression you commit against Donald Trump or members of his circle. For governmental cast members involved in anti-President Trump shenanigans, the sky was their limit.
Altering evidence in order to falsely justify law enforcement surveillance? Hmmm.
…surveillance of President Trump? Proceed!
This is what Deep State looks like.
Unimpressive, perhaps, but that is emblematic of our age. Unimpressive people with their unimpressive hands meddling in places they don’t belong.
A government official who altered an email in order to continue the FBI’s spying on a member of the 2016 Trump campaign received only probation and community service for his crime, a stark reminder that people in government are rarely, if ever, held accountable for the destruction they cause to others.
Former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith was sentenced to 12 months probation and 400 hours of community service for altering an email from an FBI agent that stated former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page had been a source for the CIA, Politico reported. Clinesmith altered the email to say Page was “not a source” for the CIA, which helped the FBI continue its surveillance of Page.
The magic word is “predication,” ie, building grounds for surveillance through overt fabrication of evidence. Altering emails constitutes fabrication, unless you’re spinning unsavory details about President Trump.
The report said Clinesmith’s “deliberate falsification of a federal spy warrant” first was confirmed last winter by the DOJ’s inspector general.
IG Michael Horowitz and his team released a 434-page report that included details about how Clinesmith — identified then only as “OGC Attorney” — changed an email from a separate U.S. federal agency “to falsely state that Page had never worked with the CIA to investigate suspected Russia agents operating within the U.S,” the report said.
But Clinesmith had been informed of Page’s previous work with both the CIA and FBI, the report said.
The OIG finding was that Clinesmith left out Page’s previous work “despite being reminded by the other agency in June 2017, prior to the filing of the final [FISA warrant] renewal application, about Page’s past status with that other agency.”
The OIG charged that Clinesmith “altered” the incoming email so that it said Page was “not a source.”
Pretty damning stuff, even more so when considering law enforcement is held to a higher standard since they represent the absolute pinnacle of lawfulness that keeps society in check; if the police are allowed to willfully falsify evidence in order to substantiate surveillance of citizens, we may wake up one day to find ourselves living in a totalitarian police state. Kevin Clinesmith added some bling to allegations in order to sell surveillance of the Presidential candidate’s campaign.
Sounds like tyranny lite to me. Clinesmith’s defense reeks of the putrid stench of desperation and sheepish guilt.
Clinesmith’s attorney’s argued that he genuinely believed that what he was altering the email to say was true, and he simply wanted to save himself the additional work of reaching out to the CIA for an email.
Apparently it’s preferable to be a lazy civil servant who cuts corners (efficiency!) than a corrupt Deep State operative. No one wants to do “additional work” and I suspect great misdeeds have been attributable to its avoidance. Clinesmith’s excuse is utter bullshit because he knew about Page’s previous CIA assignments, but whatever; it was all for a good cause.
His conviction earned him some probation and community service. What type of “intelligent” person would buy Clinesmith’s excuse?
U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg – an Obama nominee – sided with Clinesmith’s defense.
“My view of the evidence is that Mr. Clinesmith likely believed that what he said about Mr. Page was true,” Boasberg said, according to Politico. “By altering the email, he was saving himself some work and taking an inappropriate shortcut.”
James Boasberg has been adjudicating almost 20 years so it stands to reason he is somewhat intelligent. In order to make sense of his opinion in the Clinesmith case, I infer two explanations given demonstrations of his putative intelligence. He is, 1) illogical, or he is, 2) sinister.
Boasberg’s judicial background leads me to suspect he routinely engages in a trained brand of systemic analysis with his deliberations and reasoning. Critical thinking guides cognitive maneuvers as he winds his way through the minefield of facts and arguments. His expertise is largely defined by his ability to read people and deconstruct their motivations.
Yet, he chose to interpret Clinesmith’s excuses at face value. Yes, he was avoiding an extra step, but the precedent his actions imply would be disastrous for a free society that prides itself on individual liberty. Just cause is not an operator at play in the equation used to determine Clinesmith’s guilt.
Logic apparently does not belong in Boasberg’s legal arsenal.
Leaving the third option.