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FBI source indicted for providing false information about Biden

Democrats say indictment shatters GOP argument at heart of impeachment inquiry into president

Hunter Biden, center, and his attorney Abbe Lowell, left, address the media after leaving a House Oversight and Accountability Committee markup in January.
Hunter Biden, center, and his attorney Abbe Lowell, left, address the media after leaving a House Oversight and Accountability Committee markup in January. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A confidential FBI source faces two federal charges after federal prosecutors say he provided the agency with false information about President Joe Biden and his son’s connection to a Ukrainian energy company.

Congressional Republicans have cited that energy company, Burisma Holdings, as part of their impeachment inquiry against Joe Biden that has sought for months to link Hunter Biden’s business dealings with his father.

After the indictment was announced Thursday, Democrats on the House Oversight and Accountability Committee said the grand jury indictment shattered arguments at the center of that impeachment push. Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, the top Democrat on the committee, called on Speaker Mike Johnson to end it.

“In a detailed indictment, Special Counsel David Weiss—who was appointed by former President Donald Trump—has demonstrated how key evidence at the heart of House Republicans’ impeachment inquiry is based on a lie,” Raskin said.

Chairman James R. Comer, R-Ky., amplified a social media post from an account for Republicans on the committee that indicated the inquiry would continue.

“We have over $30 million reasons to continue this investigation and not one of those reasons relies on the corrupt FBI or an informant. Bank records don’t lie,” the GOP committee account posted.

A grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California indicted Alexander Smirnov, 43, on a charge of making a false statement and a charge of creating a false and fictitious record. Weiss, who is also overseeing the criminal prosecution of Hunter Biden, announced the charges against Smirnov.

The indictment states Smirnov in 2020 caused a false entry in an FBI form known as a 1023 and identifies it as a form that Republican members of Congress released in July 2023.

At that time, Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, released the form that contained information from a confidential source with unverified claims about an alleged criminal scheme involving then-Vice President Biden and a Ukrainian business executive.

The indictment accuses Smirnov of providing “false derogatory information” to the FBI about President Biden and his son in 2020, after the elder Biden became a presidential candidate.

Smirnov claimed executives associated with Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company, admitted to him that they hired Hunter Biden to protect them through his father, according to the indictment.

Smirnov also claimed the executives said they paid millions of dollars to the two Bidens so that Hunter would take care of issues through his father, “referring to a criminal investigation being conducted by the then-Ukrainian Prosecutor General into Burisma,” according to the indictment.

But the grand jury indictment states that those claims were fabrications.

“In short, the Defendant transformed his routine and unextraordinary business contacts with Burisma in 2017 and later into bribery allegations against [Joe Biden], the presumptive nominee of one of the two major political parties for President, after expressing bias against [Joe Biden] and his candidacy,” the indictment states.

“When he was interviewed by FBI agents in September 2023, the Defendant repeated some of his false claims, changed his story as to other of his claims, and promoted a new false narrative after he said he met with Russian officials,” the indictment states.

Other Democrats on the House Oversight panel pointed out connections between Smirnov and the allegations against the Bidens.

Rep. Jasmine Crockett, D-Texas, called out Comer in a social media post, saying his “star witness” was “charged by the TRUMP-APPOINTED Special Counsel with making false claims.”

“THIS is the informant who provided the core ‘evidence’ in the GOP impeachment investigation,” Crockett argued. “According to a federal grand jury, he made it all up.”

Rep. Maxwell Alejandro Frost, D-Fla., wrote in a social media post that this “is the secret informant that Chair Comer used as the basis for pretty much all of our Hunter Biden hearings.”

And Rep. Robert Garcia, D-Calif., in a social media post, said Comer’s “lead informant in his sham impeachment” against the president was indicted for lying and making up claims.

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