Former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith was sentenced to 12 months probation and 400 hours of community service on Friday after pleading guilty to altering an email used to obtain a surveillance warrant on Trump campaign Carter Page during the 2016 Russia investigation.
Why it matters: Clinesmith is thus far the only person to be convicted in special counsel John Durham investigation's into the origins of the Russia probe, which has been ongoing since May 2019.
- The Justice Department wanted six months in prison for Clinesmith, but his attorneys successfully argued that probation would be more appropriate, the Washington Post notes.
- The Durham investigation also revealed anti-Trump messages from Clinesmith that resulted in a two-week suspension. He apologized for altering the email in Page's surveillance warrant and said he was “truly ashamed.”
The big picture: Former President Trump and his allies have long claimed that the Durham investigation would result in high-profile indictments of Obama-era intelligence officials, who they allege orchestrated the Russia "collusion" narrative to take down Trump.
- Trump's demands that Durham produce a report before the November election were one of the reasons that the president's relationship with former Attorney General Bill Barr deteriorated.
- Barr appointed Durham as a special counsel in December so that he could continue his investigation even after President Biden took office.