FBI Informant Charged with Spreading Falsehoods about Hunter Biden Links to Russian Intelligence | Report

Federal prosecutors disclosed in a court filing on Tuesday that the man who was charged last week with providing false information to federal investigators regarding Hunter Biden and President Biden's business dealings informed officials following his arrest that people "associated with Russian intelligence" were connected to apparent efforts to spread a rumor about the first son.

Two allegations alleging Alexander Smirnov lied to the FBI led to his detention last week. The Trump-appointed prosecutor David Weiss, who is looking into the president's son, charged Smirnov with giving his FBI handlers false information about Mr. Biden and Hunter in 2020. He said that the two Bidens received $5 million each from Burisma, a Ukrainian oil business. The criminal papers against the defendant state that he knew the assertions to be fraudulent.

On Tuesday, a court granted his release from detention under the terms of a personal recognizance bail. David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld, Smirnov's lawyers, refused to say more.

Prosecutors wrote on Tuesday that following Smirnov's arrest last week for lying, "Smirnov admitted that officials associated with Russian intelligence were involved in passing a story about Businessperson 1." Businessperson 1 seems to be aligned with Hunter Biden. The prosecutors unsuccessfully urged a judge overseeing the case to keep Smirnov behind bars pending trial.

The prosecutors refrained from stating whether Smirnov's assertions on the purported connections to Russian intelligence had ever received validation.

Smirnov allegedly started working as an FBI informant in 2010 and continued to meet and communicate with federal agents up until last year. Prosecutors said in their brief on Tuesday that he informed his FBI handlers about his connections with foreign intelligence services, "including Russian intelligence agencies, and has had such interactions lately." Nevertheless, he was eventually found to be untrustworthy and was prosecuted.

The special counsel's team concluded, "Law enforcement is aware of Smirnov's interactions with Russian intelligence officers because Smirnov reported on many of those encounters to his FBI Handler." "Smirnov intended to meet with one of these authorities on his forthcoming scheduled abroad visit. These contacts are substantial and quite recent."

Prosecutors said he posed "a substantial danger of fleeing in order to evade punishment for his activities" because of his alleged links to Russian intelligence officers.

Federal prosecutors could not identify which account of Hunter Biden seemed to originate from someone connected to Russia, despite the fact that they detailed many contacts Smirnov said he had with intelligence agents. Furthermore, the court filings did not seem to include any evidence to support any of the allegations.

According to court filings filed on Tuesday, "he is aggressively selling fresh falsehoods that might damage U.S. elections after meeting with Russian intelligence agents in November."

Unveiled this week, Smirnov's indictment charged him with "showing a predisposition" toward Joe Biden, the then-candidate, in texts he had with his FBI handler in May 2020, implying that Biden was "going to prison."

An FBI document known as an FD 1023 chronicled the defendant's now-disproved 2020 allegations, which included that Hunter Biden was employed by the Ukrainian oil firm Burisma for security "via his dad" and that the business paid millions to both Mr. Biden and Hunter.

The core of the House Republicans' inquiry of Mr. Biden and his son has been that paper and the allegations made in it that federal prosecutors now assert are untrue. They have used the document's claims of bribes as proof of wrongdoing.

Smirnov's accusations that he "transform[ed] his usual and unextraordinary business interactions with Burisma in 2017 and thereafter into bribery allegations against" Hunter and Mr. Biden seem to counter such assertions.

The special counsel claims that the president's son engaged in a "four-year plan" to evade paying at least $1.4 million in federal taxes, and as a result, he is facing nine federal tax charges.

Hunter Biden was subject to three felony gun charges in the state of Delaware by Weiss, the U.S. attorney for Delaware appointed by former President Donald Trump and designated special counsel by Attorney General Merrick Garland in 2023. The charges stemmed from Biden's alleged unlawful possession of a firearm.

Hunter Biden's lawyers blamed Smirnov's alleged lying in separate court documents filed in Delaware on Tuesday, despite his not-guilty plea, for the abrupt breakdown of a plea and diversion arrangement on the felony charges last July. They said that prosecutors altered the terms of their agreement after accepting Smirnov's "bait of large, dramatic charges."

Hunter Biden's lawyers filed several applications in California on Tuesday to get the tax accusations against him dismissed.

After they could not agree on many crucial details in public, a federal judge last year rejected a plea bargain that Weiss' office and the president's son had been considering.

Using long-standing personal ties based in Las Vegas as well as other support networks and needs in the United States, Smirnov's lawyers successfully argued on his behalf that their client should be free awaiting trial.

His attorney said, "Mr. Smirnov will not be able to help counsel with language obstacles that are likely to arise, or enable his counsel's communication with important witnesses while he is in detention."


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