Kevin Clinesmith — the former senior FBI lawyer convicted last year of falsifying a document used to obtain a surveillance warrant against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page — hasn't yet finished serving his probation. But he has already been restored as an "active member" in "good standing" with the District of Columbia Bar Association.
In fact, according to RealClearInvestigations, Clinesmith was never even disbarred, as is customary for lawyers convicted of serious crimes and especially ones directly involving the administration of justice. Nor was he penalized by the bar in any way for failing to promptly submit his guilty plea to the court of review.
RCI reported that the bar restored Clinesmith without ever checking to see if he had violated his terms of probation or fulfilled other conditions of his plea agreement. Clinesmith was spared jail time following his plea. Instead, he was sentenced to 12 months of probation last year and ordered to complete 400 hours of community service.
It also restored him without consulting with the FBI's Inspection Division, which had been probing whether Clinesmith was involved in any other Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant abuses in addition to the one used against Page. Clinesmith reportedly worked on former special counsel Robert Mueller's 2016 team that investigated alleged Trump-Russia collusion.
Last August, Clinesmith admitted to purposefully altering a CIA email in 2017 that was used in the third and final application to obtain a FISA warrant against Page, allowing federal authorities to eavesdrop on Page's communications. It was the first criminal charge filed in special counsel John Durham's probe into the origins and intelligence-gathering activities of the Trump-Russia investigation.
Clinesmith, a registered Democrat and outspoken critic of former President Trump, just so happened to receive lenient treatment from the bar's Board on Professional Responsibility, which conveniently is made up of three Democratic members, all of whom are party donors.
Moreover, the bar "did not even initiate disciplinary proceedings against [Clinesmith] until February of this year — five months after he pleaded guilty and four days after the outlet first reported he had not been disciplined," RCI noted.
"Normally the bar automatically suspends the license of members who plead guilty to a felony. But in Clinesmith's case, it delayed suspending him on even an interim basis for several months and only acted after RCI revealed the break Clinesmith was given," RCI added.
The bar's handling of the matter demonstrated obvious "irregularity and leniency," the outlet said. That leniency certainly raises concerns that Clinesmith was given favorable treatment in light of his political beliefs.
The Rules of Professional Conduct for the Washington, D.C., bar further state that it constitutes "professional misconduct" for a lawyer to "commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty" and also for a lawyer to "engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation."
Here's more on Clinesmith's indictment:
Ex-FBI lawyer to plead guilty in first criminal case arising from Durham probe: AP www.youtube.com