Washington’s Leak Culture Can’t Penetrate Spygate Investigation

November 26, 2019 Updated: December 5, 2019

Commentary

CNN published an article on Nov. 22 revealing that U.S. Attorney John Durham has expanded his criminal investigation into the origins of the “Russiagate” hoax.

The CNN report stated that a former FBI lawyer was under investigation for altering a key document that was used to obtain a FISA surveillance warrant renewal on former Trump campaign official Carter Page.

Following CNN’s breaking of the story, several other media outlets published reports saying the FBI lawyer in question is Kevin Clinesmith, who resigned from the special counsel team led by Robert Mueller in February 2018 after Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Michael Horowitz uncovered signs of unprofessional conduct during the early stages of the FBI’s counterintelligence probe of the Trump campaign.

Clinesmith reportedly resigned from the FBI about two months ago.

As reported by The Washington Examiner:

“Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s investigators found Clinesmith falsely asserted he had documentation to back up a claim while in talks with the Justice Department about the factual basis for a FISA warrant application renewal. He then took an email from an official from another agency that contained multiple factual assertions, added material of his own, and gave it to a fellow FBI official who was preparing an affidavit for the Page case. Clinesmith has been described in many media reports as a “low-level attorney,” but Horowitz said he “was the primary FBI attorney assigned to [the Trump-Russia] investigation in early 2017.”

The last renewal of the Page FISA warrant was in June 2017, which helps establish the timeline for Clinesmith’s actions.

It’s been reported that it was Horowitz who handed over evidence to Durham of this alteration of a key FISA document, and Durham responded by opening an investigation into the matter.

This is the second time in recent weeks that we learned the Office of Inspector General (OIG) had bombshell evidence directly related to the creation of the Trump–Russia collusion hoax in its possession for at least a year before divulging it.

Due to a bombshell court filing in the Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn perjury case on Sept. 11, it was discovered that the OIG had given Flynn’s defense team documentary evidence that revealed FBI personnel had altered the FD-302 form from Flynn’s FBI interview.

Any theory or narrative that tries to explain how Powell obtained these 302 communications and begins with, “And then Sidney Powell took an unauthorized disclosure from a grand jury proceeding and used it in her court filing in the Flynn case,” is utter nonsense.

It’s obvious that the exculpatory evidence found in the 302-related texts and emails found their way into Powell’s court filing via the proper legal disclosure process. If she had obtained this evidence through a grand jury leak or some other illegal means, Powell wouldn’t dare use it in a court filing. 

And it’s clear this 302 evidence came from Horowitz, since it’s well-known that he’s the one who’s been investigating, collecting, and cataloging the electronic communications of the top “Spygate” plotters since early January 2017

So at some point in all this collecting and compiling and studying of all these FBI communications, Horowitz discovers texts and emails that reveal that then-FBI lawyer Lisa Page was making material edits to the Flynn 302 form.

Since Horowitz started digging into these matters in January 2017, as he began his review of the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email investigation, it’s an open question as to just exactly how long his office had all of this 302 and FISA evidence before it began sharing it. It could be longer than two years.

Even if Horowitz only had possession of this bombshell evidence for just one year, it’s simply amazing, given the fact that Washington thrives on a leak culture. Strategic leaks of classified information are how the Swamp protects itself. 

I want to underscore just how extraordinary it is that the OIG had two vital pieces of bombshell evidence directly foundational to the Russiagate hoax in its possession since early 2018 at the very latest, and that nobody in the office leaked it.

Nationwide, the DOJ’s OIG has more than 450 people working for it. During the past three years that the Trump–Russia collusion hoax was dominating the news cycle, top OIG personnel were sitting on this evidence while their investigations continued.

How many people inside the OIG could have leaked to the news media that Horowitz was in possession of documents that proved FBI FD-302 interview forms and FISA documents were both altered?

However many people at the OIG knew, none violated their oaths. They all kept the faith, and they all did their jobs. No one gave in to partisanship urges and abused the trust placed in them. They waited for the investigations to finish. 

For that, they are to be commended and I salute them. 

Brian Cates is a writer based in South Texas and the author of “Nobody Asked For My Opinion … But Here It Is Anyway!” He can be reached on Twitter @drawandstrike.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

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