Trump: Charge Against ‘Corrupt’ FBI Lawyer ‘Just the Beginning’
The charge and expected guilty plea of a former FBI lawyer involved in the probe of President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign is “just the beginning,” Trump told reporters on Friday.
“So we have some very interesting news. Kevin Clinesmith, a corrupt FBI attorney who falsified FISA warrants in James Comey’s very corrupt FBI, is expected to plead guilty,” the president announced at the beginning of a press briefing at the White House in Washington.
Clinesmith was charged by U.S. Attorney John Durham, who is delving deep into how the probe into Trump’s campaign unfolded before the Republican was elected president. According to a court filing, Clinesmith removed content from an email he forwarded to an FBI special agent to dramatically change information regarding a former Trump campaign associate from positive to negative.
“That’s just the beginning, I would imagine, because what happened should never happen again,” Trump added.
“He is pleading guilty. It’s a terrible thing. A terrible thing,” he continued. “The fact is they spied on my campaign and they got caught and you’ll be hearing more.”
Durham’s bombshell was previewed late Thursday by Attorney General William Barr, who said in a cable news appearance that there was going to be “a development” in Durham’s probe of Crossfire Hurricane.
Barr indicated that Durham’s Aug. 14 action would be followed by more announcements.
“There are going to be significant developments on this before the election,” he told Fox News host Sean Hannity.
Barr assigned Durham last year to probe the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign, with a special focus on whether it was free of improper motive. The probe was designated a formal criminal investigation later in 2019.
Trump is among those anxious to see results from the review, urging Barr to do the right thing.
“I hope they’re not going to be politically correct and say, well, you know, let’s just get the lower guys that forged the documents going into FISA,” or the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, Trump said on Thursday.
“Bill Barr can go down as the great attorney general in the history of our country, or he can go down as just an average guy, it depends on what’s going to happen,” he added.
The Department of Justice didn’t respond to a request for comment on Trump’s remarks.
The president also took a shot at FBI Director Christopher Wray after suggesting someone besides himself nominated Wray for the job.
“We have an election coming up. I wish he was more forthcoming. He certainly hasn’t been,” the president said.
The FBI declined to comment.
Mimi Nguyen Ly, Ivan Pentchoukov, and Janita Kan contributed to this report.