You can find the article here--please read the whole piece:
Lifson presents the situation lucidly:
But now comes news that Durham is asking only for a sentence of a few months, at most, for an officer of the court who knowingly lied to the court [in a situation of extraordinary peril to our national security, endangering the performance of CinC duties--both military and foreign policy--by a sitting president].
and concludes with the common sense, gut level observation:
Something odd is going on with all of this, but I don't know what it is. Is it possible that Clinesmith has made a deal implicating higher-ups, but that it is not reflected in the court documents available to the public? That sounds like a bit of a fantasy to me, even though it would be my own deepest wish.
The idea that a rogue official complicit in lying to a court to spy on a presidential campaign would get off with probation is repulsive.
Context matters--including in the law. Talk of sentencing guidelines becomes meaningless babble in this context. Every person with a sense of decency should be revolted. To my way of thinking, no lawyer who engaged in this type of conduct and confessed to what he did--as Clinesmith did do--should get away with less than a serious jail sentence. Even if he cooperated.