The former FBI lawyer intends to plead guilty to falsifying a document as part of a deal with prosecutors conducting their own criminal inquiry of the Russia investigation, according to three people familiar with the case.
The lawyer, Kevin Clinesmith, 38, who was assigned to the Russia investigation, plans to admit that he altered an email from the C.I.A. that investigators relied on to seek renewed court permission in 2017 for a secret wiretap on the former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, who had at times provided information to the spy agency. Mr. Clinesmith’s lawyers said he made a mistake while trying to clarify facts for a colleague, the people said.
Mr. Clinesmith had written texts expressing opposition to President Trump, who is sure to tout the plea agreement as evidence that the Russia investigation was illegitimate and politically motivated. Mr. Trump has long been blunt about seeing the continuing investigation by the prosecutor examining the earlier inquiry, John H. Durham, as political payback whose fruits he would like to see revealed in the weeks before the election.
Attorney General William P. Barr has portrayed Mr. Durham’s work as rectifying what he sees as injustices by officials who sought in 2016 to understand links between the Trump campaign and Russia’s covert operation to interfere in the election.