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Here's how the rule of law applied to a former FBI lawyer who pleaded guilty to forgery

Ever since news broke of the FBI raiding former President Donald Trump’s home in Mar-a-Lago, people have been talking about the rule of law, and how no one is above the law (except Hunter Biden, who’s clearly above the law). Coincidentally, this news broke right around the same time. Former senior FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith pleaded guilty to forgery in getting that FISA warrant against Carter Page so the FBI could spy on the Trump organization. Clinesmith faced a harsh penalty — his law license was suspended.


But that was then, and this is now. Clinesmith has been restored to “good standing” and has his license to practice law back. Plus he had to pay a fine.

Caroline Downey reports for National Review:

The bar had a record of repeatedly accommodating Kevin Clinesmith, a now convicted felon who pleaded guilty in August 2020 to falsifying a document that was the basis for a surveillance warrant against former Trump campaign official Carter Page.

After receiving a 12-months probation sentence, which he first agreed to, Clinesmith was expected to have his attorney designation stripped. However, the D.C. Bar did not pursue that course of action, despite long-standing precedent surrounding lawyers committing crimes in legal matters.

The bar did not proactively pursue disciplinary action against him either, until five months had passed since he pleaded guilty and RealClearInvestigations had raised media awareness of the scandal. Following the public attention, the bar then conducted a review of Clinesmith’s case, temporarily suspending him in the meantime.

The Michigan Bar, where Clinesmith is also licensed, suspended him for two years and imposed a $1,037 fine the day he pleaded guilty.


Here’s a flashback to our coverage when Clinesmith pleaded guilty:


It was just a little forgery to keep the Russian collusion investigation on track. With that ugliness behind him, Clinesmith can get back to work.

Editor’s Note:
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