- The Washington Times
Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Attorneys for ex-FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith asked a federal judge Tuesday to block crime victim rights groups from speaking out in support of Carter Page’s request to weigh in on Clinesmith’s sentencing.

Clinesmith pleaded guilty this summer to falsifying an email submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to continue surveilling Mr. Page, a Trump campaign foreign policy adviser who was suspected of colluding with Russians who interfered in the 2016 election.

No criminal charges were ever filed against Mr. Page, who was ultimately exonerated of any wrongdoing by former special counsel Robert Mueller.

Mr. Page has asked the court to speak as a crime victim at Mr. Clinesmith’s sentencing last night. Earlier this week, a coalition of crime victim rights groups asked to file a legal motion in support of Mr. Page’s right to address the court.

Clinesmith’s lawyers fired back Tuesday, saying Mr. Page can’t prove he was a “victim” of the defendant’s actions.

Instead, they say that Clinesmith’s doctoring of an email may not have influenced the FISC’s approval of the fourth surveillance warrant of Mr. Page.

The attorneys say other evidence, including three previous FISA warrants, also weighed in favor of the court granting permission to wiretap Mr. Page.

“The parties, however, dispute whether that alleged harm was ‘directly and proximately’ caused by Clinesmith’s false statement,” they wrote.

Clinesmith’s attorneys also said that the crime victim groups also cannot address the issues in the case, rendering their intervention unnecessary.

“Amici have no special expertise regarding the FISA process, FBI or DOJ procedures, or the events underlying this case,” the lawyers wrote. “And Amici will not be affected by the court’s ruling as to those case-specific factual issues.”

Among the groups seeking to support Mr. Page are the National Crime Victim Law Institute, the National Organization for Victim Assistance, the Network for Victim Recovery of the District of Columbia and the Utah Crime Victims’ Legal Clinic.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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