A federal judge on Jan. 29 sentenced former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith to 12 months of probation for forging an email that resulted in one of several major errors in the applications to spy on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg described Clinesmith’s forgery as an “inappropriate shortcut.” The judge concurred with the defense’s argument that the FBI attorney did not intend to lie when he added the words “not a source” to an email from a CIA liaison which described Page as having provided information to the agency.
Boasberg, who serves as one of the judges in the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that approved the applications to surveil Page, said that Clinesmith’s forgery damages the reputation of the court. The judge said he had no reason to disagree with the findings of the report by the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General, which found that Clinesmith’s actions were not motivated by his bias against President Donald Trump.
The judge also ordered Clinesmith to serve 400 hours of community service.
“This punishment trivializes what I believe to be a stunning breach of duty to the Court and to the American people,” Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said in a statement.