Why is this news significant? Because the same issue that is being discussed in the Michael Flynn case where DOJ has admitted in making an error is now giving more impetus that 302 FISA applications have been altered and the process has been abused in which is a violation under current statues of the US law. What is also further telling as to why this is significant is that CNN is reporting this story, which if one were to think about this for a minute or two would suggest that this is a pretty big story that typically would go to the New York Times. Someone is leaking this story.
On a less serious note however, its quite entertaining to watch Wolf Blitzer break the news to his audience. Anti-Trump Preet Bharara seems stunned by the news as well.
"Keep in mind which FBI officials are now working for the media outlet, CNN, that is providing the leaks; ie. former FBI Deputy Director, Andrew McCabe ; the spokesman for James Comey, Josh Campbell ; a former FBI agent, Asha Rangappa ; or the former FBI chief legal counsel, James Baker . All now work for CNN.
It’s important to note the media source aspect because normally this type of leak would go to the Washington Post or New York Times first; ergo, it likely stems as a personal leak to one of the former allied FBI officials now working for CNN.
An FBI official is under criminal investigation after allegedly altering a document related to 2016 surveillance of a Trump campaign adviser, several people briefed on the matter told CNN.
The possibility of a substantive change to an investigative document is likely to fuel accusations from President Donald Trump and his allies that the FBI committed wrongdoing in its investigation of connections between Russian election meddling and the Trump campaign.
Horowitz turned over evidence on the allegedly altered document to John Durham.
It’s unknown how significant a role the altered document played in the FBI’s investigation of Page and whether the FISA warrant would have been approved without the document. The alterations were significant enough to have shifted the document’s meaning and came up during a part of Horowitz’s FISA review where details were classified, according to the sources.
The identity or rank of the FBI employee under investigation isn’t yet known, and it’s not clear whether the employee still works in the federal government. No charges that could reflect the situation have been filed publicly in court.
The Justice Department and inspector general’s office declined to comment." ~ Sundance
If you have followed the case closely, the intentional removal of Peter Strzok in combination with the explanation of the lawyer’s FISA responsibilities; and in combination with prior reporting of FBI lawyer 2; it seems pretty obvious the line-level lawyer was Kevin Clinesmith.