Kevin Clinesmith — the former top FBI lawyer convicted in 2020 of falsifying a document that was used to secure a surveillance warrant against a former Trump campaign aide Carter Page — has not yet finished serving his probation sentence. But he has already had his “active member” status restored with the District of Columbia Bar Association.
In fact, Clinesmith wasn’t ever disbarred, as is customary for lawyers who are convicted of serious crimes and especially the ones that directly involve the administration of justice. Also, he was never penalized by the bar at all for failing to quickly submit his guilty plea to the court of review.
RCI reported that the bar had restored Clinesmith without even checking if he had violated his terms of probation or fulfilled the other conditions of his plea agreement. He was spared jail time after his plea. Instead, he was ordered to complete 400 hours of community service and sentenced to 1 year of probation last year.
It also restored him without checking with the Inspection Division in the FBI, which was actively probing whether Clinesmith had been involved in any other warrant abuses.
DC Bar Restores Convicted FBI Russiagate Forger to ‘Good Standing’ Amid Irregularities and Leniencyhttps://t.co/lxjUiP7Hb1
— RCInvestigations (@RCInvestigates) December 16, 2021
Last Aug., Clinesmith admitted to purposefully changing a CIA email in 2017 that was used to get a FISA warrant against Carter Page, allowing federal authorities to spy on Page’s communications. It was one of the first criminal charges filed in John Durham’s probe into the intelligence-gathering activities and origins of the Trump-Russia investigation.
Clinesmith, a registered Dem and outspoken critic of former Pres. Trump, just so happened to get lenient treatment from the bar’s Board, which is conveniently made up of three Dem members, all of whom are party donors.
Moreover, the bar “didn’t even start disciplinary proceedings with Clinesmith until Feb. 2021, five months after he had pleaded guilty and just four days after the news outlet first reported he hadn’t been disciplined,” RCI noted.
“Normally the bar instantly suspends the license of any members who have plead guilty to a felony. But in Kevin Clinesmith’s case, it put off suspending him for months and only acted after RCI revealed the break he had received,” RCI added.
The bar’s handling of this matter demonstrated obvious “leniency and irregularity,” the outlet stated. That leniency certainly raises some concerns that Clinesmith received favorable treatment because of his political beliefs.
Author: Blake Ambrose