Yes, Kevin Clinesmith did plead guilty Wednesday. Sort of.
Well, maybe it was a smidge better than “sort of.” After all, it did happen in a federal-district-court proceeding (via videoconference) on Wednesday. And Judge James Boasberg did accept the plea after eliciting it in accordance with settled criminal-law rules. Sentencing is scheduled for December 10. So it’s official.
But I’m sticking with “sort of.” If Clinesmith’s guilty plea is legally adequate, it is barely so. And neither a judge nor a prosecutor is required to accept an allocution sliced so fine. In “admitting” guilt, Clinesmith ended up taking the position that I hoped the judge, and especially the Justice Department, would not abide, in essence: Okay, maybe I committed the crime of making a false statement, but to be clear, I thought the statement was true when I made it, and I certainly never intended to deceive anyone.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.