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Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith was sentenced to 12 months probation and 400 hours of community service on Friday after pleading guilty to altering an email used to obtain a surveillance warrant on Trump campaign aide Carter Page during the 2016 Russia investigation.

Why it matters: Clinesmith is thus far the only person to be convicted in special counsel John Durham investigation's into the origins of the Russia probe, which has been ongoing since May 2019.

  • The Justice Department wanted six months in prison for Clinesmith, but his attorneys successfully argued that probation would be more appropriate, the Washington Post notes.
  • The Durham investigation also revealed anti-Trump messages from Clinesmith that resulted in a two-week suspension. He apologized for altering the email in Page's surveillance warrant and said he was "truly ashamed."

The big picture: Former President Trump and his allies have long claimed that the Durham investigation would result in high-profile indictments of Obama-era intelligence officials, who they allege orchestrated the Russia "collusion" narrative to take down Trump.

  • Trump's demands that Durham produce a report before the November election were one of the reasons that the president's relationship with former Attorney General Bill Barr deteriorated.
  • Barr appointed Durham as a special counsel in December so that he could continue his investigation even after President Biden took office.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

U.K. sends patrol ships to British island amid fishing dispute with France

The HMS Tamar, one of the two ships deployed to Jersey. Photo: Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images

The United Kingdom's government announced Wednesday it has deployed two Royal Navy patrol vessels to the island of Jersey "as a precautionary measure," as tensions over fishing rights escalate with France.

Why it matters: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement the government took the action to protect Jersey against threats of "a blockade" of French fishing boats at the island, which is off the coast of northwest France.

Social media's "in-kind contribution to Biden"

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Facebook's continued suspension of Donald Trump's account extends the silencing of Joe Biden's most potent critic — and the current president's control over the national political narrative into his second 100 days.

Why it matters: Biden has been able to successfully focus on COVID-19 relief, his infrastructure plan and fielding his new administration, in part, because Trump hasn't been able to shake his social media muzzle and bray about the migration crisis or any White House misstep.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Liz Cheney's long game

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) is all but rolling out the red carpet for her own ouster as House GOP conference chair next week and her expected replacement with Trump defender Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.).

Why it matters: Cheney’s political falling out with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is the ultimate proxy war between Republicans who remain beholden to a former president who falsely claims the election was stolen from him, or breaking free from Donald Trump to refocus on traditional conservative values.