FBI Lawyer Doctored Email to Make Carter Page Appear as a Russian Agent Instead of a CIA Source
On Wednesday, Inspector General Michael Horowitz spoke to the Senate Judiciary Committee about his report and the FBI's counterintelligence operation into the Trump campaign back in the last presidential election cycle. Senator Lindsey Graham confronted Horowitz and everyone else present with a shocking finding from Horowitz's report: the FBI lawyer supervising the FISA process, named Clinesmith, purposefully doctored an email to make former Trump adviser Carter Page appear as a Russian agent rather than as a CIA source, which he actually was.
"When you read this report," Graham said today, "is that a lawyer supervising the FISA process at the FBI, according to Mr. Horowitz, doctored an email from the CIA to the FBI and he's going to be referred for criminal prosecution."
"Why is that important?" Graham then asked rhetorically. "Carter Page, who has been on the receiving end of all this, the foundation to believe he was a foreign agent comes from a dossier that we will talk about in a minute. In that dossier provided by Christopher Steele -- and we will talk about him in a minute -- they claim that Page meets with three people known to be Russians, Russian agents, people associated with Russia."
"Carter Page, while being wiretapped by his government, says I don't know two of these people. And to this day, there is no proof that he ever met two of those three. The third person he says, 'Yeah I met him. I told the CIA about my meeting because I was a source for the CIA'."
"So they would have you believe that Carter Page is working against our government, not with our government. So Carter Page, in the summer of 2017, is trying to tell anybody and everybody," the senator for South Carolina went on to say, "'I was working with the CIA, I was reporting my contact with this person,' and nobody believed him."
And that's when Graham dropped his hammer on the FBI. "The CIA had told the FBI it was true earlier," he explained, "but it never made it through the system. Somebody got so rattled at the FBI, they asked Mr. Clinesmith to check it out. He checks it out. He communicates with the CIA. 'Is Carter Page a source for you?' In an email exchange they say, 'yes, he is.'"
That should have been the end of the matter, of course. But not for the FBI. "What does Mr. Clinesmith do?" Graham asked once again. "He alters the email to say, 'No he's not.'"
This, of course, is absolutely shocking. A lawyer at the FBI -- the very lawyer who's supposed to supervise the FISA process -- literally doctored an email in order to make Carter Page look like a Russian asset rather than as the CIA source he actually was... and he did so in order to be able to spy on Page and, through him, the presidential campaign of Donald Trump.
Until a few years ago, only conspiracy theorists and Hollywood filmmakers would dare dream up such a scenario. Now we know it has actually happened. It truly is terrifying. If the FBI did this to Trump, have they done the same thing to other presidential candidates? Are there other major investigations we don't know about? And will these people do the exact same thing next time one of the two parties nominates a candidate they dislike?