The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), an ethics watchdog group, filed a sentencing memorandum with the federal court in Washington, D.C., calling upon Judge James E. Boasberg, who also presides over the secret Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Court (FISC), to sentence former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith to prison instead of probation at his public virtual sentencing hearing Friday morning at 11:00 a.m.
NLPC also called upon the judge to require Clinesmith to make a video about his crime and express remorse to be used by the Justice Department for their ethics training program for all DOJ and FBI attorneys.
In an August 14, 2020, plea agreement with Special Counsel John H. Durham, who was appointed by Attorney General William Barr to investigate the origins of the 2016 Russia collusion probe known as “Crossfire Hurricane,” Clinesmith admitted that he doctored a June 15, 2017, CIA email by adding that Carter Page, “was not a source” for the CIA in his contacts with Russian sources, when in fact he was a source helping the CIA. The judge will allow Carter Page to speak at the sentencing hearing to describe the injuries he suffered to his reputation by the illegal surveillance warrant.
In late 2019, both the Inspector General Michael Horowitz and the FISC subsequently blasted the FBI for its error-ridden process for obtaining surveillance warrants, including the use of the infamous and unverified “Steele Dossier.” After the 2016 election, Clinesmith texted a colleague “the crazies won finally,” and calling Vice President Mike Pence “stupid.” Asked by a colleague whether he intended to stay in government, he wrote, “viva la resistance.” Similar anti-Trump messages were made by FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Paige.
In its memorandum, NLPC argued that the judge should reject Clinesmith’s plea for probation because he has suffered enough and that his wife is expecting their first baby. Judge Amy Berman Jackson rejected a similar plea by attorney Alex van der Zaan, the first person to be sentenced by Special Counsel Mueller for a similar crime (and whose wife also was expecting) and sentenced him to 30 days and a fine.
“Equal justice demands at least the same sentence for Clinesmith and more since he held a position of trust,” said Paul Kamenar, counsel for NLPC who drafted the memorandum. “NLPC agrees with the Special Counsel that a three-to-six-month sentence is warranted under the Sentencing Guidelines for a first offender,” Kamenar added.
“Hopefully, this is just the first of many prosecutions by the Special Counsel of those who abused their powers and committed criminal acts in initiating the Russia collusion probe,” said Peter Flaherty, Chair of NLPC.
NLPC also filed a bar complaint against Clinesmith last September seeking his disbarment. A copy of that complaint along with the recent sentencing memorandum can be found at http://www.nlpc.org
Founded in 1991, NLPC promotes ethics in public life and government accountability through research, investigation, education and legal action. NLPC also filed an ethics complaint last year against a former Mueller prosecutor with the Office of Professional Responsibility
To schedule an interview with a NLPC spokesperson, please contact Dan Rene at 202-329-8357 or email@example.com