The major point that Shipwreckedcrew bases his analysis upon is a simple one: Durham could have had this plea deal at least a year ago. Basically, any time he wanted it. As I remarked at the time, we all knew that Clinesmith was going to go down. So, starting from that premise ...
First of all, he rejects statements by Clinesmith's attorney as "spin"
“…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.”
This should more accurately read:
“Clinesmith’s attorneys have not been provided with evidence that there is a broader conspiracy….”
What he's saying is this: In any plea negotiations and subsequent cooperation the information flow was a one way street. Durham would never have told Clinesmith or his attorney why he wanted to know the answers to certain questions or what use he would make of those answers. They might make some educated guesses, but certainly Durham would not give away the big picture conspiracy. More on that below.
Next, as we discussed earlier,
The first thing Clinesmith’s plea suggests to me is that Durham is almost done. This plea could have been had a long time ago if this was the only criminality that Durham uncovered. The facts of Clinesmith’s actions were set forth with particularity in the Inspector General’s Report on the Four FISAs.
So, that's a major "if". In other words, the logical conclusion is that, since this plea was so long in coming, that means that Durham DID uncover additional criminality.
Next, Shipwreckedcrew, having described the offense as detailed in the information, notes:
This information from the CIA should have stopped the Page FISA application in its tracks.
Obviously, if Carter Page was a CIA source, the FISA judge--had he been informed of this fact--might well have questioned: How could he have been an agent for Russia at the same time? Which circumstance is the truth?
However, this subterfuge followed upon another. From the beginning of the FISA process, the FBI had falsified Carter Page's relationship with the NYO of the FBI--he had, in fact, been a source for the FBI in New York and his contacts with Russian intel operatives were both known and approved by the FBI. Who in the FBI knew about this? Ask yourself this: If Clinesmith contacted CIA re Page, would people in the FBI not have searched the FBI's own records to see what was known about Carter Page? If they had--and I presume they did--then they would have known that Page was an FBI source. So, knowing all this, Durham would have been trying to determine the full extent of knowledge within the FBI on these matters.
Several reasons would explain not pursuing charges against Clinesmith sooner, but the two most obvious ones are that Clinesmith agreed to cooperate when he was notified he was a target of a criminal investigation, and the second would be that Durham did not want to initiate a court proceeding that might require him to make public disclosure of certain evidence before the was prepared to do so.
This paragraph goes to the supposition that Durham's investigation--probably at least as regards the FISA--is just about finished. Once an indictment is handed down or an information is filed, the prosecutor is required to start moving forward with the case--he can't just sit on it without justifying that action. If Durham is now willing to move forward with regard to Clinesmith, and if--judging from the delay in filing the information--we presume that Clinesmith has had information of value to pass on to Durham, then it follows that Durham is at a point at which he doesn't care who knows what public disclosures could come from moving the Clinesmith case forward. That point would logically be the end point of a discrete investigation, one that can be separated from other still ongoing investigations.
Shipwreckedcrew next reiterates some of the above:
Now Durham has decided to move forward. The reporting on the story says that Durham is not expected to announce a wide-ranging conspiracy as part of Clinesmith’s guilty plea. That is most likely the case because there is no need to do so, and doing so in connection with Clinesmith would only put such allegations in the public arena for others to see — including other targets of the investigation.
In resolving a case such as Clinesmith’s, the less said the better. Durham knows what Clinesmith as told him and that this point there is no reason for Durham to tell everyone else what Clinesmith has said.
But here's an interesting tidbit that I'd not heard before, but which bears directly upon matters we were speculating about in the first Clinesmith post. Please read this closely:
That being the case, there is an interesting bit of information reported that I noted on Twitter. The note said that Clinesmith had told investigators that he provided the original email — the accurate email from the CIA — to the case agents and supervisors on CH. I’m digging around a bit more for that information and will update this story when I find it.
If true then that's extremely important. The reason is because, since the accurate information is contained in an email, then there should be an electronic trail showing who Clinesmith shared the email with--and beyond. And so:
If that is true, the Durham has other subjects with regard to this specific falsehood that is traceable to Clinesmith. If the evidence is that others were aware of the false allegations about Page and the CIA that originated with Clinesmith’s alteration and never took steps to clear the record with DOJ or the FISC, then those individuals are targets as well because a knowing “material omission” of information from a FISA application would also be obstruction. Now you have the existence of a conspiracy.
The existence of a conspiracy! But what kind of conspiracy? Every conspiracy has a purpose. So, if the conspiracy is involves defrauding the government of honest services, we still need to ask: To what purpose? That's the point at which the prosecutors can introduce mountains of evidence to show that the purpose of the conspiracy to defraud had nothing to do with any legitimate government business--instead, it was to stage a lawfare style coup against an elected president. Ruh roh!
If the knowledge of Clinesmith’s criminal act extended beyond Clinesmith himself, that would call into question the accuracy of every submission under oath made by members of CH. Not just the FISA applications, but all the affidavits offered in support of search warrants across the entire scope of the CH investigation — including everything done by the Special Counsel’s Office since many FBI agents and other personnel carried over from the DOJ/FBI investigation of CH to the SCO investigation of CH.
Every material misstatement or omission would then be a potential overt act in furtherance of a conspiracy. This would better explain the widespread nature of Durham’s investigation as AG Barr has referenced in the past, as well as AG Barr’s decision to task two other US Attorneys with pursuing other aspects of the probe.
But also, acts that were not actually criminal, but which nevertheless were performed in furtherance of the overall conspiracy, could also come into play.
So for everyone who wondered what was taking Durham so long, I hope you know now.