- The Washington Times - Friday, December 18, 2020

A coalition of crime victim rights groups on Friday said Carter Page, a Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, should be allowed to speak at the sentencing hearing for an ex-FBI agent who falsified an email to justify surveillance of Mr. Page.

The groups have asked a federal judge to allow them to intervene in the lawsuit by filing legal briefs in support of Mr. Page. They say they will provide additional information and analysis not previously presented to the court.

“The defendant’s false statement deprived Dr. Page of a fair process before the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court], he was harmed by that fact alone, regardless of whatever collateral consequences might have followed,” the groups wrote in the filing.

Among the groups that signed onto the filing are the National Crime Victim Law Institute, the National Organization for Victim Assistance, the Network for Victim Recovery of the District of Columbia and the Utah Crime Victims’ Legal Clinic.

Earlier this month, Mr. Page asked to address the court during the sentencing of Kevin Clinesmith.

In August Mr. Clinesmith pleaded guilty to doctoring an email to support a federal court application to wiretap Mr. Page. The FBI at the time was in the early stages of probing ties between President Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russians who interfered in that year’s election.

Clinesmith changed the email to say that Mr. Page was “not a source” for the CIA, even though the email from the CIA maintained that he was a source for the agency.

The FBI then relied on that altered email to convince a judge that the bureau must continue to monitor Mr. Page.

The FBI had wiretapped Mr. Page for more than a year, starting in October 2016. Bureau officials had suspected he was a recruitment target of Russian intelligence.

No evidence was uncovered linking Mr. Page to Kremlin meddling, and he has never been charged with a crime. He ultimately was exonerated by former special counsel Robert Mueller, who concluded that the Trump campaign did not conspire with the Russian government.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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