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Former FBI lawyer avoids jail time linked to Carter Page FISA case

Former FBI lawyer avoids jail time linked to Carter Page FISA case
Former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith said he altered an email used in an application to conduct surveillance on Carter Page, pictured. File Photo by Yuri Kochetkov/EPA

Jan. 29 (UPI) -- A former FBI lawyer avoided jail time Friday after pleading guilty to altering an email supporting the surveillance of Carter Page, former President Donald Trump's ex-campaign aide.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg sentenced Kevin Clinesmith, 38, to 12 months of probation for the crime. Clinesmith pleaded guilty in August to making false statements and faced up to five years in prison.

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Clinesmith said he inserted the words "not a source" into a 2017 email about Page's history of work with the CIA. The CIA, however, had earlier told investigators Page was an "operational contact" for the agency from 2008 to 2013, providing information about his contacts with Russian intelligence officers.

Investigators relied on the email to justify an application with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to renew a wiretap on Page, which has since been invalidated by the Justice Department.

"At the time I believed the information I was providing in the email was accurate. But I am agreeing that the information inserted into the email was not originally there and I inserted that information," Clinesmith said.

The case was the first brought by federal prosecutor John Durham, who was appointed by former Attorney General William Barr in 2019 to interview the origins of the FBI's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

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Daniel Uria contributed to this report.

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