Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Friday, Aug. 14, suggested that there will be potentially another crime after former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith intended to plead guilty in U.S. Attorney John Durham’s investigation.
“Something tells me that Mr. Clinesmith knows where the bodies are buried, and if I were in the FBI working on Crossfire Hurricane [the Russia investigation], I would be very worried right now,” Graham told former Rep. Trey Gowdy who hosted Fox News’s “Hannity.”
Clinesmith will plead guilty to making false statements in documents used to obtain a surveillance warrant against former Trump aide Carter Page, according to The Associated Press. He altered an email to say that Page was “not a source” for the spy agency while Page had served as an “operational contact” for the CIA.
“This is a lawyer, a man of the law, a member of the bar, who took it upon himself to falsify documents and keep an investigation going that should’ve been stopped,” Graham said. “This is a big day for transparency and the rule of law.”
Graham also revealed that Bill Priestap, the FBI’s former head of counterintelligence, is the official he said who gave misleading information to his committee in 2018 about the reliability of British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s dossier that the FBI heavily relied on to secure warrant applications against Page.
“A year after the sub-source told the FBI in 2017 there is zero corroboration for the dossier, I wouldn’t trust it with a solid grain of salt, hearsay, bar talk. They knew for over a year, and now, you’ve got Bill Priestap on Feb. 15, 2018, with four other people from the FBI briefing this Senate Intel Committee, completely whitewashing the truth about the reliability of the dossier,” Graham told Gowdy.
The sub-source was revealed to be Igor Danchenko who is a former Brookings Institution senior research analyst in Washington.
“The Russian sub-source who was American-based—not Russian based—told Christopher Steele, ‘Here’s what I’ve got, it’s bar talk, it’s rumor, it’s innuendo, it’s not really reliable,’ and what did Christopher Steele do with that? He turned it into a Tom Clancy novel, he sold it to the FBI, they sold it to the FISA court, to get a warrant against Carter Page,” Graham said during an interview with Fox News.
“I find it impossible to believe that McCabe and Comey were not made aware of this 40-page memo,” he added, referring to former FBI Director James Comey and former deputy director Andrew McCabe.
Priestap was the leader of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation into Russian interference and allegations of Trump-Russia collusion. After a meeting with Comey and McCabe, Priestap suggested that agents planned to get former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to lie or fired, according to the FBI’s memos released in April.
President Donald Trump also said on Friday that Clinesmith’s expected a guilty plea is “just the beginning” of the fallout from Durham’s investigation.
“That’s just the beginning, I would imagine. This … what happened should never happen again,” the president said at a White House briefing. “You’ll be hearing more.”