Our pop culture guru Pat Reeder says he can quote a line from “Gone With The Wind” to fit any situation in life, and his pick for this story is Rhett Butler’s, “You’re like the thief who isn't the least bit sorry he stole, but is terribly, terribly sorry he's going to jail.”
The story is that attorneys for former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith are pleading with a judge not to give him jail time for lying to secure surveillance warrants against Trump 2016 campaign adviser Carter Page. He didn’t mean to do anything wrong; why, he just “cut a corner” because he was “overworked” and “exhausted.” I'm surprised he didn't use the classic DC excuse: “Mistakes were made!” In Washington, mistakes make themselves, and there’s nothing you can do to stop them.
If he was so tired and overworked, then why did he go to the additional effort of editing an email to falsify evidence so that he could obtain an unjustified warrant to spy on an innocent American? Take a look at how the inner circle of anti-Trump agents set up Mike Flynn and tried to railroad him into prison, and tell me with a straight face that if they had been able to find anything on Page with those falsely-obtained warrants that they wouldn’t have tried to slap him behind bars, too.
Clinesmith is facing a potential five years in prison because this is not a minor “oopsy” offense. This is falsifying evidence to deceive the FISA court into violating the rights of a US citizen. And it’s done by someone in a position of trust and authority in the top law enforcement agency of the federal government. He’s hardly the only one who should face serious consequences; he’s just the lowest fall guy on the list.
So I hope that after his lawyers hand the judge all those feeble excuses for why he shouldn’t face serious punishment, that the judge will also quote Rhett Butler and say, “Frankly…I don’t give a d**n.”