Andrew Weissman, an Obama-era Justice Department official who transferred to become a manager on Robert Mueller's investigation of the 2016 Trump campaign, criticized the indictment of an FBI lawyer in the probe, claiming he did not commit a crime.
In a series of Twitter posts, Weissman said Kevin Clinesmith's alteration of an email that misrepresented the status of Carter Page, an adviser to then-candidate Donald Trump's presidential campaign, from being known as a CIA source to "not a source" was not "materially" false.
"Clinesmith is charged with adding the words 'not a source' to an email about Carter Page, but no where does the charge say that is false, i.e. that Page was a source for the CIA," Weissman wrote. "Without that, how is the addition 'materially' false?"
The indictment is the first to come out of U.S. Attorney John Durham's probe into the investigation of the Trump campaign, which Republicans and others have called a political prosecution.
The Justice Department relied on Clinesmith's email as justification to eavesdrop on Page in an application for a warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Clinesmith, who wrote a series of critical text messages of Trump following his election and resigned from the FBI last year, intends to plead guilty to one count of making a false statement, The Associated Press reported.
"Kevin deeply regrets having altered the email," Clinesmith's attorney Justin Shur said in a statement. "It was never his intent to mislead the court or his colleagues as he believed the information he relayed was accurate. But Kevin understands what he did was wrong and accepts responsibility."
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