Informant accused of lying about Hunter Biden criminal activity

Joe and Hunter Biden.
Joe and Hunter Biden. Copyright Nick Wass/AP2010
By Euronews with AP
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An ex-FBI informant is charged with lying in a criminal case against Hunter Biden.


An FBI informant has been charged with lying to authorities about a multimillion-dollar bribery scheme involving President Joe Biden, his son Hunter and a Ukrainian energy company, a claim that is central to the Republican impeachment inquiry in Congress.

Alexander Smirnov falsely reported in June 2020 that executives associated with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma paid Hunter and Joe Biden $5 million each in 2015 or 2016, prosecutors said in an indictment. 

Smirnov told the FBI that an executive claimed to have hired Hunter Biden to “protect us, through his dad, from all kinds of problems,” according to court documents.

Prosecutors say Smirnov in fact had only routine business dealings with the company in 2017 and made the bribery allegations after he “expressed bias” against Joe Biden while he was a presidential candidate.

Smirnov, 43, appeared in court in Las Vegas briefly Thursday after being charged with making a false statement and creating a false and fictitious record. He did not enter a plea.

The informant’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.

Hunter Biden is expected to appear before the committee later this month. His attorney, Abbe Lowell, said he had long warned the probe was based on “lies told by people with political agendas, not facts. We were right and the air is out of their balloon.”

A judge set a detention hearing for 20 February for Smirnov, who was arrested at the Las Vegas airport after arriving in the US from overseas.

If convicted, Smirnov faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison.

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