The presiding judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) ordered the FBI to review all cases worked on by a former FBI lawyer who allegedly tampered with an email during the investigation of Carter Page, former campaign adviser to President Donald Trump.
In a secret filing on Dec. 5—several days before the release of Department of Justice Inspector General (IG) Michael E. Horowitz’s report—Judge Rosemary Collyer ordered a review of the “significant inaccuracies” in the FBI’s applications to monitor Page.
According to reports, an FBI lawyer identified as Kevin Clinesmith altered an email to say that Page “was not a source” for the agency.
This alteration could have been used to justify the enforcement of the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) warrant and for the FBI to finally call Page “an agent of a foreign power” in 2016.
The eventual manipulation would have been enough to change the orientation of the document during the Obama administration. Shortly after that mail, the FBI and the Justice Department filed a final request to renew surveillance against Page.
Clinesmith, who recently resigned from the FBI, also has been identified as the FBI employee who sent anti-Trump text messages discussed in another Inspector General’s report, issued in 2018, according to the Daily Caller.
In a Nov. 25 letter, the Department of Justice notified the FISC of Clinesmith’s actions.
In the order, Collyer said the Justice Department must now identify all other past or present issues that involved the FBI lawyer.
The judge also set Friday as the deadline for submitting the information.
Collyer also issued another order Tuesday criticizing the FBI for filing “false” and “misleading” applications for the surveillance warrants. That order said the Justice Department reported other omissions in the Carter page applications to the FISC in July 2018.
According to sources consulted by Fox News in October 2019, the investigation by Prosecutor John Durham—who is conducting the case on possible misconduct by the FBI and the Department of Justice in the run-up to the 2016 election until spring 2017—has become a full criminal investigation, meaning that the former FBI lawyer who allegedly tampered with the documents is now under criminal investigation.
Republicans and President Trump have argued that the alleged FBI abuses of FISA, which occurred as the federal agency sought criminal links between Trump’s campaign team and Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign, were politically motivated.
It was finally determined that there was no collusion of the Trump campaign with Russia and—on the contrary—the misbehavior of the FBI in the Obama era was discovered. The intelligence agency would have operated as an arm of the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.