DC Bar Reinstates Ex-FBI Lawyer Who Admitted Altering Russia Probe Email (Suwat Supachavinswad/Dreamstime.com)
By Solange Reyner | Thursday, 16 December 2021 03:03 PM
Former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith, who altered an email during the Russia investigation that was used to justify the surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, has been reinstated as a member "in good standing" to the District of Columbia Bar Association, reports Real Clear Investigations.
Clinesmith pleaded guilty in August 2021 to falsifying the document during the early stages of the FBI's probe into Russia interference in the 2016 presidential election and potential ties to the Trump campaign.
He was sentenced to one-year probation and 400 hours of community service last January.
Clinesmith at the time said he was "ashamed" of his actions and apologized for harming the "institutions that I cherish and admire."
"I have a duty to take responsibility for my actions and mistakes," Clinesmith told the court.
The report published Thursday said the D.C. Bar didn't seek Clinesmith's disbarment and didn't initiate disciplinary hearings until February. He was eventually suspended pending a review and hearing.
The disciplinary counsel's office at the time said it did not "believe that there is sufficient evidence to prove moral turpitude on the facts." The office pointed to other attorney ethics cases where a lawyer received a one-year bar suspension for the submission of a falsified document to a U.S. agency.
Real Clear Investigations didn't check with Clinesmith's probation officer to see if he violated the terms of his sentence or completed his community service requirement. The Michigan Bar's attorney discipline board, meanwhile, suspended Clinesmith the day he pleaded guilty and fined him $1,037.
One member of the D.C. Bar told Real Clear Investigations that Clinesmith was let off easy because he's a Democrat "who hated Trump."
Information from Reuters was used in this report.