FISA judge orders FBI to identify all cases involving lawyer who allegedly altered Carter Page email

By Chuck Ross

The judge presiding over the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) ordered the FBI in a secret court filing earlier in December to identify all cases handled by a former FBI lawyer who allegedly altered an email during the investigation of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

Judge Rosemary Collyer ordered the review Dec. 5, several days before the release of a Justice Department inspector general’s (IG) report that found the FBI made “significant inaccuracies” in applications to surveil Page.

The report said a now-former FBI lawyer who has been identified as Kevin Clinesmith altered an email from the bureau’s liaison to the CIA in June 2017 to say Page was “not a source” for the agency.

Wikimedia Commons/Aude

The J. Edgar Hoover Building, the headquarters of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington, D.C.

Shortly after altering the email, the FBI and Justice Department submitted a final application to renew surveillance against Page.

Clinesmith was one of the FBI’s top lawyers on Crossfire Hurricane before it was handed over to the special counsel’s office. He took part in a February 2017 interview with George Papadopoulos, another Trump campaign adviser.

Clinesmith, who recently resigned from the FBI, has also been identified as the FBI employee who sent anti-Trump text messages discussed in a separate IG report released in 2018. According to the report, a lawyer identified as Clinesmith wrote Nov. 21, 2016, to a colleague, “Viva le [sic] Resistance!,” during a discussion about opposing Trump.

The Justice Department notified the FISC of Clinesmith’s actions in a letter Nov. 25. Federal guidelines require that the government inform the FISC if it discovers that surveillance warrant filings “contained a misstatement or omission of material fact.”

In her order, Collyer said the Justice Department now has to “identify all other matters currently or previously before this Court that involved the participation of the FBI OGC attorney.” She set Friday as the deadline to hand over the information.

Collyer also ordered the FBI to disclose whether Clinesmith has been referred to any bar associates for investigation or disciplinary action. The Justice Department is reportedly conducting a criminal investigation into Clinesmith’s actions.

Collyer released another order Tuesday blasting the FBI for submitting “false” and “misleading” applications for the surveillance warrants. That order said the Justice Department reported other omissions in the Carter Page applications to the FISC in July 2018.

Collyer’s order does not address the activities of other FBI employees who withheld information from the court, including “Case Agent 1,” an FBI counterintelligence agent who is criticized heavily in the IG report.

“Case Agent 1 was primarily responsible for some of the most significant errors and omissions in the FISA applications,” the IG report stated.

The agent is not accused of altering documents, but the report laid out six areas where he withheld information that was exculpatory for Page or derogatory for Christopher Steele, the former British spy whose dossier the FBI used in the Page applications.

The agent played a key role in several aspects of the investigation. He was the FBI handler for Stefan Halper, an informant who the bureau used to make contact with Page and George Papadopoulos, another Trump campaign aide.

The IG report stated Case Agent 1 failed to tell the Justice Department and FISC about exculpatory remarks that Page and Papadopoulos told Halper.

The agent also took part in a January 2017 interview with the main source for Christopher Steele’s dossier. The source disputed key parts of the dossier during that interview, and said that Steele had passed along rumor and speculation as fact. The agents failed to disclose the derogatory information about Steele to the FISC.

The agent, who initiated the FISA application against Page, also failed to tell Justice Department attorneys in August 2016 that the Trump adviser was an “operational contact” for the CIA. The agent falsely stated that Page’s relationship with the CIA ended far earlier than it actually did.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities for this original content, email

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Aude

5 thoughts on “FISA judge orders FBI to identify all cases involving lawyer who allegedly altered Carter Page email

  1. This judge was given a heads up several years ago about the FBI’S abuse of the FISA court and for what ever reason, she chose to ignore it. Now the chickens have come to roost. This whole sordid saga is just beginning to unravel. The next shoe to drop will be Mr. Durham’s report.

  2. After the herd of traitors has been feathered out and sent to Gitmo the rest of the 4th floor at FBI headquarters needs to be wiped out and replaced with 1st and 2nd floor agents who still are
    into policing not politics.

    Same needs to happen at CIA and NAS which would put a big dent in the swamp that’s been
    growing since the corrupto Clinton administration…

  3. Should these issues, their perpetrators, the political activists motivating them be investigated with at minimum the diligent thoroughness displayed in the Mueller investigation? NOT by Mueller, of course – as he, too, should be investigated.

  4. FISA abuse, FBI, CIA they all need Jail Time ….. from the top dogs down and that includes
    those in the last administration……… even that top dog !!

    The Swap is deep, let’s see who turns on each other first ….. it should be fun !!

  5. The gun pointing at the FBI, a den of inequity/oppression/bias that makes many “errors”.
    It likely was trying to illegally oust/undermine Trump, but was caught in the end. Too much hubris?

    What if emails were altered to get FISA search warrants or FISA surveillance?
    Who did/authorized it? What emails did THEY write to show bias against Trump?

Comments are closed.