WASHINGTON A former FBI lawyer will plead guilty to falsifying a document as part of a federal probe into the origins of the Russia investigation, but there is no evidence showing a broader conspiracy to undermine the candidacy of U.S. President Donald Trump, the New York Times reported on Friday.
The lawyer, Kevin Clinesmith, will admit he changed an email from the CIA that was used in seeking renewed court permission in 2017 for a secret wiretap on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, the Times reported, citing three people familiar with the case.
Prosecutors were not expected to reveal any evidence that shows a broader conspiracy that would cast doubt on the decision to open a Russia investigation, it said.
The Times reported that Clinesmith’s lawyers had said their client made a mistake while trying to clarify facts for a colleague. Clinesmith’s lawyer, Justin Shur, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.
Clinesmith wrote texts expressing opposition to President Trump, according to the Times, which said Trump is likely to tout Clinesmith’s anticipated guilty plea as evidence the Russia investigation was illegitimate and politically motivated.
In an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday, U.S. Attorney General William Barr predicted there would be a “development” on Friday in the investigation by John Durham, a Connecticut-based federal prosecutor who Barr named to investigate the origins of federal investigations into alleged contacts between Trump advisors and Russia before and during the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign.
Barr said Friday’s development would not be “earth-shattering,” but would indicate “that things are moving along at the proper pace as dictated by the facts in this investigation.”
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