The Clinesmith case was already a joke. The fact that Kevin Clinesmith was the only case stemming from the Durham probe to result in actual criminal charges is the equivalent of reducing Watergate to a littering case.
We’re dealing with people at the highest levels of government abusing FISA and eavesdropping on their political opponents going back years.
One guy who was low down on the totem pole was nailed for forging evidence. And he’s free and clear.
The denouement to the case is infuriatingly inevitable considering that Clinesmith was going to be sentenced by an Obama judge.
U.S. District Judge for the District of Columbia James Boasberg on Friday during Clinesmith’s sentencing hearing said Clinesmith had suffered by losing his job and standing in the eye of a media hurricane.
Boasberg gave him 12 months probation, 400 hours of community service, and no fine.
Government prosecutors had been asking for Clinesmith to spend several months in jail, but Clinesmith’s defense had been advocating for probation only.
“[He] lost his job, and his government service is what has given his life much of its meaning,” Boasberg said Friday. “He was also earning $150,000 a year and who knows where the earnings go now. He may be disbarred or suspended from the practice of law, you may never be able to work in the national security field again. These are substantial penalties.”
Boasberg added: “What is more, he went from being an obscure career government lawyer to standing in the eye of a media hurricane. He has been threatened, vilified and abused on a nationwide scale.”
Boasberg, an Obama nominee, didn’t call Clinesmith a hero or rant about conservatives, but that’s all the discretion he showed. The Obama judge had previously intervened on behalf of illegal aliens against President Trump, and for assorted lefty causes.
Even Senator Ben Sasse, hardly a Trump supporter, blasted the decision.
“An FBI agent falsified evidence in one of the Bureau’s most important investigations ever and a slap on the wrist isn’t going to cut it. Clinesmith already pled down and prosecutors were already seeking a reduced sentence. Now he’s just going to have to do some community service. Come on. This isn’t traffic court. America only works if the truth matters, if lying has consequences, and if public servants are held accountable for breaking the laws.”
“Come on, man”, as Biden would say.
Lying and breaking the law doesn’t have consequences unless the people who do it have the wrong politics. Sasse is fairly consistent about failing to state those stakes. If Clinesmith had done this in a case involving Muslim terrorists, the media and the establishment would be throwing not just the book, but the entire library at him. Instead, an Obama judge announced that he’s suffered enough because he lost his government job.
Clinesmith’s slap on the wrist wraps up the sideshow of an investigation that consistently went nowhere and was intended to go nowhere.
Spygate was the worst abuse of national security in American history. But Biden is likely to top that in the next four years.
Clinesmith getting off sends the message that there will be few to no consequences for those who perpetrate the next wave of abuses.