The FBI informant who was indicted late last week for allegedly fabricating allegations about President Joe Biden and his son Hunter also reportedly had contact with officials in Vladimir Putin's regime, according to a new court filing.
Alexander Smirnov, 43, was charged last week with making false statements to federal authorities over his claim that both Joe and Hunter Biden solicited a $5 million bribe from Ukrainian company Burisma in exchange for protecting it from an investigation by the Ukrainian government. However, a new 28-page filing submitted in US District Court on Tuesday arguing for his continued pretrial detention suggests Smirnov may have had political motivations in concocting the alleged scheme.
"In December 2023 Smirnov reported to his handler about a recent overseas trip, where Smirnov attended a meeting with Russian Official 2, who Smirnov has described as a high-ranking member of a specific Russian intelligence service," read the filing, which was originally tweeted by Politico legal correspondent Kyle Cheney. "During this same trip, Smirnov apparently attended a separate meeting with Russian Official 1, the individual who controls groups that are engaged in overseas assassination efforts."
Revealingly, the filing said that Smirnov told his FBI handler that Russian intelligence officials obtained cell phone calls from "prominent US persons" that the Putin regime "may use as 'kompromat' in the 2024 election,' depending on who the candidates will be." The filing also read that Smirnov is "actively peddling new lies that could impact US elections after meeting with Russian intelligence officials in November."
"Smirnov's contacts with Russian officials who are affiliated with Russian intelligence services are not benign," the DOJ argued in the filing. "The court should consider this conduct as well when evaluating his personal history and characteristics... In light of that fact there is a serious risk he will flee in order to avoid accountability for his actions."
Aside from his alleged fabrications about the Bidens, Smirnov has also been accused of lying about his finances. Even though he told the FBI he only had access to $1,500 in cash and another $5,000 in a savings account, the Tuesday filing read that he withdrew more than $1.7 million in cashier's checks between 2020 and 2022 in the name of "Avalon Group, Inc." It was not made clear from the filing where the money originated.
The lies Smirnov allegedly told make up the core of Republicans' arguments to impeach President Biden, with both House Judiciary Committee chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) and House Oversight Committee chairman James Comer (R-KY) both citing his work with the FBI as justification for their impeachment crusade. They have not yet dropped their efforts to impeach Biden despite the president's calls for them to do so in light of Smirnov's indictment.
Reprinted with permission from Alternet.