FBI Informant Charged With Fabricating Hunter Biden Allegations

James Comer Hunter Biden

The Department of Justice has charged a former FBI informant — whose claims Republicans used to bolster allegations of a corrupt bribery scheme involving Hunter Biden and the Ukrainian energy company Burisma — with two counts of making false statements to federal authorities.

The indictment, announced Thursday by Special Counsel David Weiss, alleges that Alexander Smirnov “falsely claimed” that during two business meetings in 2015 and/or 2016 “executives associated with Burisma, admitted to him that they hired [Hunter Biden] to ‘protect us, through his dad, from all kinds of problems.’” 

Smirnov added that the Burisma officials also said they had paid “$5 million each” to Joe and Hunter Biden, so that the then vice president’s son would “‘take care of all those issues through his dad’ referring to a criminal investigation being conducted by the then-Ukrainian Prosecutor General into Burisma.” 

The indictment alleges that “the events that Smirnov first reported to the FBI Agent in June 2020 were fabrications. In truth and fact, the defendant had contact with executives from Burisma in 2017, after the end of the administration when [Joe Biden] had no ability to influence U.S. policy and after the Ukrainian Prosecutor General had been fired in February 2016.” The DOJ claims that Smirnov “transformed his routine and unextraordinary business contacts with Burisma in 2017 and later into bribery allegations,” after expressing bias against Joe Biden’s candidacy for the presidency in 2020. 

Republicans in Congress have long attempted to leverage the allegations made by Smirnov into an all-out assault against the Biden presidency. In September, former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced that he would be directing members of his party to launch an impeachment inquiry into President Biden. “Even a trusted FBI informant has alleged a bribe to the Biden family,” McCarthy said in his announcement. While Smirnov’s allegations were known at the time, it had already been well documented that he had not provided additional proof to verify his claims. 

During the impeachment inquiry’s first hearing later that month, Republicans on the House Oversight Committee repeatedly referred to the claims made by the FBI informant as fact. Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) told the committee at one point that “we already know the president took bribes from Burisma.”

In December, the House of Representatives voted along party lines to formally authorize the impeachment investigation. At the time, House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told reporters that the investigation may center around allegations that President Biden and his son profiteered from unethical deals with Burisma. 


Smirnov’s claims spread far and wide as a centerpiece of the GOP’s largely unproven allegations against the Biden family. According to the progressive watchdog Media Matters, Fox News host Sean Hannity “aired at least 85 Hunter Biden segments in 2023” that included allegations that Burisma executives had paid out bribes to the Bidens. 

Smirnov was arrested at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Feb. 14, and is expected to appear in court for his arraignment on Thursday. He faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison if convicted on both counts. 

Source link: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/fbi-informant-hunter-biden-charged-doj-burisma-1234969234/

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