Former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith pled guilty to altering an official document in the Trump-Russia investigation by inserting the word "not". It's likely that this plea deal paves the way for Clinesmith's testimony against other malefactors.

Other, more senior FBI officials must have been involved in these FISA abuses, though Durham hasn't said so yet. Some committed abuse themselves. Others knew about it or should have known. Still others must have discovered the misrepresentations, but failed to report them to the FISA court, as they were required to do. Those failures are felonies.

Clinesmith has said he gave other FBI members the true document, not just the altered one. The 23rd paragraph of the charging information says Clinesmith "provided the unchanged C.I.A. email to Crossfire Hurricane agents and the Justice Department lawyer drafting the original wiretap application." That's a smoking bazooka.

Clinesmith actually worked on Robert Mueller's team. He was tasked from the bureau to work with that team, which then submitted his falsified document to the FISA court. That's crucially important. If attorneys on the special counsel team knew about his crime and did nothing to inform the court, if they continued to use a document they knew was fraudulent, they will face charges. That would implicate Mueller's team for the first time in illegal activity to undermine the Trump presidency. That's a much bigger matter than writing a biased report.

Did Clinesmith act alone or did anyone tell him to alter the document? That's a critical question, and Durham has not answered it yet. Nor has he said who knew what Clinesmith had done. Again, the key to proving that is either a paper trail or multiple cooperating witnesses. We should get Durham's answers when he issues more indictments.

This is exactly how an air-tight prosecution should be built. Stay tuned.

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