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FBI ‘source’ who made bribery allegations against Biden charged with false statements

The FBI source who claimed to have information regarding alleged bribes paid to President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, has been charged with fabricating the allegations during interviews with federal agents.

David Weiss, the special prosecutor and Trump appointee who is overseeing two federal cases against Hunter Biden, obtained a grand jury indictment in the Central District of California against Alexander Smirnov on charges that he made false statements to federal investigators during his time as a confidential human source for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to the indictment, Mr Smirnov allegedly “provided false derogatory information” to agents about President Biden, who is described in the court documents as “Public Official 1, an elected official in the Obama-Biden Administration who left office in January 2017,” and Hunter Biden, who prosecutors describe as “Businessperson 1, the son of Public Official 1, in 2020, after Public Official 1 became a candidate for President of the United States of America.”.

Prosecutors allege that Mr Smirnov made the false allegations to agents in June 2020, when he allegedly told agents about two meetings with an executive from Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company which employed Hunter Biden as an attorney and later as a member of its’ corporate board.

Mr Smirnov allegedly told agents that “executives associated with Burisma, including Burisma Official 1, admitted to him that they hired [Hunter Biden] to ‘protect us, through his dad, from all kinds of problems”.

He also allegedly told agents that the Burisma executives had made $5 million payments to both Joe and Hunter Biden when the elder Mr Biden was vice president, so Hunter Biden would “take care of all those issues through his dad,” referring to a criminal probe involving Burisma being conducted in Ukraine.

Prosecutors further allege that Mr Smirnov told agents about a phone call with the executive, in which the executive claimed he’d been “forced” to pay the alleged bribes and said it would take investigators a decade to find evidence of the payments.

Those allegations, which were documented in an FBI form used to record witness interviews, have figured prominently in claims made by Republican members of Congress who have been conducting an impeachment investigation into President Biden, most notably House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer and Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan.

Yet prosecutors said in the indictment that the allegations against both Bidens — allegations touted by both Mr Comer and Mr Jordan — “were fabrications” on the part of Mr Smirnov.

Mr Smirnov, they wrote, had only had contact with Burisma executives in 2017, when Joe Biden “had no ability to influence U.S. policy”.

“In short, the Defendant transformed his routine and unextraordinary business contacts with Burisma in 2017 and later into bribery allegations against Public Official 1, the presumptive nominee of one of the two major political parties for President, after expressing bias against Public Official 1 and his candidacy,” they said.

“Defendant’s story to the FBI was a fabrication, an amalgam of otherwise unremarkable business meetings and contacts that had actually occurred but at a later date than he claimed and for the purpose of pitching Burisma on the Defendant’s services and products, not for discussing bribes to Public Official 1 when he was in office,” they added.

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