As Robert Mueller’s Russia collusion probe dragged on for years, every guilty plea obtained was taken by the media as evidence that the walls were closing in on President Donald Trump.
But with the first indication that U.S. John Durham may now be flipping the tables and issuing indictments of his own, Democrats — including presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden — remain oddly quiet, according to law professor Jonathan Turley, writing in The Hill.
“They have barely covered it”
After the Mueller probe ended with a whimper last spring, Biden expressed his party’s attitude toward efforts to “investigate the investigators,” saying, “Give me a break. Gosh almighty,” as Turley noted.
It comes as not much of a surprise that Democrats have shrugged off the first guilty plea in John Durham’s criminal probe of the Trump–Russia investigation, which they have lambasted since its inception as a political effort to undermine Mueller’s work.
On Friday, former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith was expected to plead guilty to making a false statement in the agency’s investigation of the Trump campaign, as Fox News reported. In June 2017, Clinesmith changed a message that was used to justify renewing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant application to spy on Carter Page, a former Trump campaign aide.
Whereas Michael Flynn’s guilty plea in the Mueller probe was spun by Democrats and the media as proof that a grand conspiracy was being uncovered, they are changing their tune now.
“Many in the media cited the plea by Flynn to disprove the insistence by Trump that the Mueller investigation was a hoax. But they are not citing the plea by Clinesmith to disprove the statement by Biden. Indeed, they have barely covered it,” Turley wrote for The Hill.
Mr. Clinesmith regrets
According to the plea, Clinesmith altered an email to say that Page was “not a source” for the U.S. government, something that the FBI lawyer knew was untrue. By omitting that information, Clinesmith misled the FISA court by painting Page as an agent of Russia, according to the New York Post.
Along with disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok, Clinesmith also signed off on a national security briefing that the FBI used to spy on the president, as Fox News noted separately. Like Strzok, as Turley pointed out, Clinesmith sent anti-Trump messages, including one that read, “viva la resistance.”
Clinesmith “deeply regrets” altering the email, according to his lawyers.
But needless to say, Democrats aren’t in any hurry to acknowledge evidence that goes against their longstanding Russia narrative and are surely feeling a sense of panic behind the scenes.
What, one wonders, might they be so afraid of?