The mainstream media's downplaying of former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith's pending guilty plea of making a false statement on a FISA application shows the willingness to diminish the important work of special prosecutor John Durham, according to legal expert Alan Dershowitz on Newsmax TV.
"I think the big story is how the media is handling it," Dershowitz told "Saturday Report." "The New York Times has a whole front page analysis in which they say this not the tip of the iceberg, this is the iceberg itself – that this isn't indicative of how deep the problem went.
"Totally, totally false."
Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz found Clinesmith altered an email to say former Trump campaign aide Carter Page had not been a CIA source, when in fact he had been working with them.
"What could be worse than an FBI agent altering a document in front of a court where you appear ex parte – that is the other side doesn't have a chance to appear?" Dershowitz told host Grant Stinchfield. "So the court is relying completely on the credibility of the FBI agent and of the government and they change the words on an email to make it seem as if the guy wasn't a source at all, when we know he was a source."
This ultimately led to the FBI renewing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant against Page while leaving exculpatory evidence out of their application. It led to the Obama administration's further spying on the Trump campaign, the political rival.
"So this is the tip of a deep iceberg," Dershowitz concluded. "I hope the Mr. Durham, who has a reputation for integrity, will dig as deep as possible and find out how deep this problem goes.
"I think it goes pretty deep."
Stinchfield quoted a reported post-2016 election message from Clinesmith that read: "I am so stressed about what I could have done differently . . . the crazies finally won; this is the Tea Party on steroids."
"What he's saying is that his own personal political views do influence, can influence," Dershowitz said. "The myth that we've been hearing from all of the folks that now have been fired – and legitimately have been fired for what they did – is 'oh, yeah, yeah, we had strong feelings against Trump, but it didn't influence they way we did our job.'
"Duh? It didn't influence the way you did your job? Why did you change that email? Obviously, you changed the email in order to increase the chances that FISA court would grant a warrant – which would continue to allow the warrant; it was the second application – and would find dirt on a particular presidential candidate.
"We cannot allow the FBI to have a thumb on the scale of elections."
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