The Associated Press reported Friday that former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith was set to plead guilty to one charge of making a false statement in the first criminal case to come out of U.S. Attorney John Durham’s investigation into the origins of the infamous Trump–Russia collusion probe. But if you were only following the mainstream media, you’d probably have no idea about it.
That’s according to Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Friday that “the mainstream media” has given about “30 seconds” of coverage to the announcement that a former FBI official is pleading guilty to crimes against the president, as Breitbart reported.
“If the shoe were on the other foot…”
The charge against Clinesmith arises from an incident first revealed in Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s December 2019 report. According to CBS News, “Clinesmith had altered a CIA email cited in the fourth application to the FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] court to surveil former Trump campaign aide Carter Page in 2017.”
CBS further reported: “Clinesmith altered an email stating that Page was a government ‘source,’ adding words to make it appear that the government agency, later revealed to be the CIA, was saying that Page ‘was not a source,’ according to the Justice Department’s information in the case.”
But despite how major this news is, it’s not getting a lot of attention from mainstream media outlets, Graham told Hannity on Friday, the same day the guilty plea was announced.
“An FBI lawyer in charge of reviewing warrants is going to plead guilty to falsifying documents to the FISA court against a Trump adviser, and if you’re lucky, you’ll find this in the mainstream media for 30 seconds,” Graham said, according to Breitbart. “Can you imagine, if the shoe were on the other foot, and an FBI lawyer pled guilty today to falsifying documents against Hillary Clinton’s adviser? It’d be front-page news.”
The GOP senator went on: “So, that’s the world in which we live in… And something tells me that Mr. Clinesmith knows where the bodies are buried, and if I were in the FBI working on Crossfire Hurricane, I’d be very worried about right now.”
“They got caught”
Graham’s concluding remarks likely came in reference to Clinesmith’s apparent plans to cooperate with Durham’s investigators, which, according to CBS News, “is typical in plea deals.”
CBS further reports that Clinesmith’s lawyer has released a statement claiming his client “deeply regrets having altered the email.”
“It was never his intent to mislead the court or his colleagues as he believed the information he relayed was accurate,” the statement added, according to CBS. “But Kevin understands what he did was wrong and accepts responsibility.”
President Trump, for his part, seems happy to see accountability finally coming for those involved in what he has called a “witch hunt.”
“The fact is they spied on my campaign and they got caught,” the president said at a news conference Friday, according to a White House transcript. “And you’ll be hearing more.”