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FBI informant who lied about the Bidens’ ties to Ukrainian energy company had high-level Russian contacts: DOJ

A former FBI informant charged with lying about a bribery scheme involving a Ukrainian company and the Bidens had high-level contacts with Russian officials, prosecutors said Tuesday.

A former FBI informant charged with lying about a multimillion-dollar bribery scheme between a Ukrainian energy company and the Bidens had contacts with Russian intelligence officials, prosecutors said Tuesday. 

In court filings, prosecutors said Alexander Smirnov admitted during an interview before his arrest last week that “officials associated with Russian intelligence were involved in passing a story” about the president’s son, Hunter Biden. They said Smirnov’s contacts with Russian officials were recent and extensive, and said Smirnov had planned to meet with one official during an upcoming overseas trip.

They said Smirnov has had numerous contacts with a person he described as the “son of a former high-ranking government official” and “someone with ties to a particular Russian intelligence service.” They said there is a serious risk that Smirnov could flee overseas to avoid facing trial.


Prosecutors revealed the alleged contact as they urged a judge to keep Smirnov behind bars while he awaits trial. 

HUNTER BIDEN WAS PAID $100K A MONTH THROUGH CHINESE FIRM VENTURE, EX-ASSOCIATE TESTIFIED

Smirnov, who holds dual U.S.-Israeli citizenship, is charged with falsely reporting to the FBI in June 2020 that executives associated with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma paid Hunter and Joe Biden $5 million each in 2015 or 2016. 

Smirnov had only routine business dealings with the company starting in 2017 and made the bribery allegations after he “expressed bias” against Joe Biden while he was a presidential candidate, prosecutors said. Special Counsel David Weiss said Smirnov’s lies were aimed at affecting the 2024 presidential election. 

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Smirnov is charged with making a false statement and creating a false and fictitious record. The charges were filed in Los Angeles, where he lived for 16 years before relocating to Las Vegas two years ago.

Smirnov was due in court later Tuesday in Las Vegas. He has been in custody at a facility in rural Pahrump, about an hour drive west of Las Vegas, since his arrest last week at the airport while returning from overseas.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Daniel Albregts allowed Smirnov to be released from custody on electronic GPS monitoring while he awaits trial. He must stay in Clark County, Nevada, and is prohibited from applying for a new passport.

Before his arrest, Smirnov had been scheduled to leave the U.S. for a months-long, multi-country trip that – by his own admission – involved meetings with officials of foreign intelligence agencies and governments, prosecutors said. 

Ahead of Tuesday’s hearing, Defense attorneys David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld had argued for Smirnov’s release while he awaits trial “so he can effectively fight the power of the government.”

Smirnov’s claims have been central to the Republican effort in Congress to investigate the president and his family, and helped spark what is now a House impeachment inquiry into Biden. Democrats called for an end to the probe after the indictment came down last week, while Republicans distanced the inquiry from Smirnov’s claims and said they would continue to “follow the facts.”

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Hunter Biden is expected to give a deposition next week.

The Burisma allegations became a flashpoint in Congress as Republicans pursuing investigations of President Biden and his family demanded the FBI release the unredacted form documenting the allegations. They acknowledged they couldn’t confirm if the allegations were true.

Fox News’ David Spunt and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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