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FBI lawyer under criminal investigation for altering document - related to Carter Page surveillance

Posted: Nov 22nd, 2019 - 7:00 am

An FBI lawyer is under criminal investigation for allegedly altering a document related to the surveillance of onetime Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

The lower-level line attorney, who is no longer with the bureau, is being scrutinized by U.S. Attorney John Durham as part of his expansive criminal investigation into the origins of the Russia investigation, according to CNN.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz uncovered the document as part of his investigation into alleged Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuses, which concluded in September, and has been in contact with Durham. The Connecticut-based prosecutor's administrative review, overseen by Attorney General William Barr, turned into a criminal investigation this fall, giving Durham the power to impanel a grand jury and hand down indictments.

No charges relevant to the situation appear to have been filed in court. A Justice Department representative did not immediately return a request for comment.

Horowitz's team interviewed the FBI lawyer, who admitted to making a change to the document that was substantive enough to twist its meaning.

The attorney was found to have wrongly asserted having documentation to support a claim in talks with the Justice Department about the factual basis for the application and then provided a falsified email to back it up, according to the Washington Post. A draft of Horowitz's report said this employee's conduct did not affect the overarching validity of the application to electronically surveil Page, but the attorney was forced out of the FBI after the episode came to light.

"If there was an FBI agent sworn to uphold the Constitution who can be proven to have altered the document in connection with a legal proceeding, including the obtaining of a FISA warrant, that's really serious. It doesn't get a lot more serious than that," former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said Thursday evening on CNN.

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LINK/URL: FBI lawyer under criminal investigation for altering document

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