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Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz told Sen. Ted Cruz on Wednesday that private citizens “would be considered for” prosecution if they had deceived courts in the same manner as FBI lawyers did to procure FISA warrants on former Trump campaign staffer Carter Page.
The Texas Republican prompted the exchange by explaining how exactly Kevin Clinesmith, the lawyer in question, “altered the email that he sent to the supervising agent who thereafter relied on it to swear out the final FISA application.”
“So the men and women at home need to know what’s happening,” Cruz continued. “A lawyer at the FBI creates fraudulent evidence, alters an email, that is in turn used for the basis of a sworn statement to the court that the court relies on. Am I stating that accurately?
“That’s correct,” Horowitz answered. “That is what occurred.”
Horowitz added that he has never “seen an alteration of an email end up impacting a court document like this.”
“If a private citizen did that in any law enforcement investigation, if they fabricated evidence and reversed what it said, in your experience,” Cruz then posed. “Would that private citizen be prosecuted for fabricating evidence, be prosecuted for obstruction of justice, be prosecuted for perjury?”
Horowitz stated that “they certainly would be considered for that if there was an intentional effort to deceive the court.”