WaPo Helps Identify FBI Lawyer Who Altered FISA Docs…

rewriting the truth

The Washington Post Helps Identify FBI Lawyer Who Altered FISA Docs…


At 8:15pm last evening Washington Post journalist Devlin Barrett posted a supportive article for the CNN (Manu Raju) news exclusive that outlined an “FBI Official” who was under criminal investigation as an outcome of the inspector general review of FISA.

The original WaPo article by Devlin Barrett noted the FBI official was actually a “line-level” lawyer who worked “under FBI Agent Peter Strzok.

At 12:15am, the WaPo article was significantly edited, two more journalists (Ellen Nakashima and Matt Zapotosky) were added to the byline.  Unfortunately, no explanation or notation of the changes were given.

~ Above: 8:15pm Washington Post Screen Grab prior to 12:15am edit ~

However, that said, the edit(s) help to identify the identity of the FBI lawyer.  The updated article removed the references to Peter Strzok, and identifies the line-level lawyer thus:

[…] The person under scrutiny is a low-level FBI lawyer who has since been forced out of the agency, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss material that has not yet been made public.

The employee was forced out of the FBI after the incident was discovered, two U.S. officials said. Horowitz found that the employee erroneously indicated he had documentation to back up a claim he had made in discussions with the Justice Department about the factual basis for the application. He then altered an email to back up that erroneous claim, they said. (link)

If you have followed the case closely, the intentional removal of Peter Strzok in combination with the explanation of the lawyer’s FISA responsibilities; and in combination with prior reporting of FBI lawyer 2; it seems pretty obvious the line-level lawyer was Kevin Clinesmith.

If the WaPo article had added all the detail and left in how the line-level attorney worked for Peter Strzok everyone would have known who it was.  Hence they put in more details about his activity but removed the Strzok reference.

Kevin Clinesmith was one of the key FBI small group members on the original Clinton investigation known as the “mid-year exam”, or in text messages the “MYE”.

Within the MYE Clinesmith was one of the key legal staff working with Peter Strzok.  Clinesmith was lawyer #2 for Strzok who eventually transferred to the subsequent Crossfire Hurricane investigation.

Clinesmith was also previously reported to be having an intimate relationship with another member of the FBI team, Sally Moyer, though that is uncertain. [Tashina “Tash” Guahar was also a key legal figure on the Main Justice side of the MYE team.]

Sally Moyer was FBI unit chief in the Office of General Counsel (counterintelligence legal unit within the FBI Office of General Counsel).

Ms. Moyer was responsible for the legal compliance within the FBI counterintelligence operations that generated FISA applications.

When the MYE investigation finished, the Carter Page FISA construction is where Kevin Clinesmith and Sally Moyer come together in their next assignment, the FBI investigation of Trump.

Additionally, Tashina “Tash” Guahar was then Deputy Assistant Attorney General (DAAG) in the Department of Justice National Security Division (DOJ-NSD) with responsibility over the assembly of FISA applications in Main Justice. In essence the FISA lawyer.

Related Sidebar: Current ICIG Michael Atkinson, the IG who modified the whistle-blower forms and allowed a hearsay CIA whistle-blower complaint, was the chief legal counsel for the head of the DOJ-NSD at the time all of this was happening.  Yeah, sketchy

This is what it looks like put together:

In the Carter Page FISA application FBI line-level lawyer Clinesmith is responsible for the underlying evidence. FBI unit chief lawyer Sally Moyer is responsible for the citations (the “woods file”) that identifies the underlying evidence.  And then DOJ Tashina Guahar is responsible for the final application assembly; then it goes off to the top level DOJ and FBI superiors for signatures and submission to the court.

The WaPo article cites Clinesmith: “erroneously indicated he had documentation to back up a claim he had made in discussions with the Justice Department about the factual basis for the application. He then altered an email to back up that erroneous claim.” That “back up citation” would be where his girlfriend Sally Moyer puts the Woods File citation.

This FISA assembly process: Clinesmith to Moyer to Guahar, took place in October 2016.

Almost three years later, Inspector General Michael Horowitz finishes his investigation and notes the issue with the documentation that supports the Woods File requirement.

This is part of Horowitz draft report as delivered to Attorney General Barr in September. According to the Washington Post the lawyer was “forced to resign.”  Further confirmation of the identity is found within the LinkedIn profile for Kevin Clinesmith, which shows he left the FBI in September.  Sally Moyer has unknown status. However, when Horowitz delivered his initial report Tashina Guahar was still at DOJ-NSD.

Shortly after IG Horowitz delivers the draft of his investigative report to AG Bill Barr, Tash Guahar quietly leaves the DOJ-NSD {Go Deep} and is reported to have taken a job with Boeing Corp.   In hindsight the reason for Guahar’s mysterious exit makes sense.

According to both the CNN and Washington Post report, the issue with the underlying ‘Woods File’ evidence has led U.S. Attorney John Durham to conduct a criminal investigation.  That investigation would include Kevin Clinesmith, the “line-level lawyer”.

A concerning part of the Washington post report is this:

[…] That conduct did not alter Horowitz’s finding that the surveillance application of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page had a proper legal and factual basis, the officials said.

That sounds like a white-wash outcome; mistakes were made, move along etc. etc.  But, if we look back upon the status of our research when the Sally Moyer transcript was released, that outcome was actually predictable.

From MAY 2019:

Sally Moyer was FBI unit chief in the Office of General Counsel (counterintelligence legal unit within the FBI Office of General Counsel). Moyer reported to an unnamed section chief, who reported to Trisha Beth Anderson, who was deputy legal counsel to James Baker.

Ms. Moyer is responsible for the legal compliance within the FBI counterintelligence operations that generated FISA applications:

View this document on Scribd

Pictured Above: Ms. Sally Moyer

A review of the Moyer transcript clarifies a few aspects:

First, the DOJ/FBI team, “the small group”, specifically the legal officials who were ultimately participating in the process that permits politicization and weaponization of government intelligence systems, was also the exact same legal group who reviewed (and approved) the 2018 inspector general report into FBI conduct during the 2016 election outlining the DOJ and FBI activity.

In essence, the DOJ/FBI bureaucratic corruption is so widespread, the corrupt officials involved are the same people who are the decision-makers in the amount of sunlight the Office of Inspect General is allowed to put forth. Now the disconnect between the OIG executive summary and the body of content material makes sense:

Secondly, Ms. Moyer explains how FBI verification of the FISA application used against U.S. Person Carter Page is essentially just making sure the citations align to show who is making the claims.

The underlying FISA application material does not need to be verified; rather the FBI source material is just accurately cited and attributed.  Note that’s where Clinesmith comes in.

Ultimately what this testimony reveals is that any U.S. person can be subjected to a Title-1 FISA surveillance warrant so long as the FBI (and DOJ) can accurately cite the reason for the underlying suspicion.  The FBI citation is the “Woods Procedure”, and it is in this citation process where Kevin Clinesmith is said to have made false documents to support the citation(s).

Sally Moyer infers the merit of the accusation has nothing to do with the citation for the claim.  However, this is where the IG report is taking issue with the FBI citation:

…Horowitz found that the employee [Kevin Clinesmith] erroneously indicated he had documentation to back up a claim he had made in discussions with the Justice Department about the factual basis for the application. He then altered an email to back up that erroneous claim… (link)

If he’s altering an email, it sounds to me like Clinesmith is modifying communication with an FBI source to construct a citation for a claim within the FISA application; perhaps that FBI source is Christopher Steele.

Again, it’s circular.



(TLB) published this article by sundance from The Conservative Tree House with our thank’s for the coverage and analysis.

Other articles about FISA from The Liberty Beacon




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