Former FBI informant to stay in jail while awaiting trial for allegedly lying to the FBI about the Bidens

Alexander Smirnov, the former FBI informant accused of lying to the FBI regarding the Biden family, has been ordered to remain in custody until his trial by a federal judge on Monday.

U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright II held a hearing on Monday in response to the recent rearrest of Smirnov. His release by a Las Vegas magistrate judge prompted concerns from Judge Wright, who noted Smirnov’s track record of making false statements and the potential risk of flight if released on bail.

During his court appearance, Smirnov, who maintains his innocence, appeared in a prison jumpsuit and was accompanied by four lawyers. He wore glasses, and his legal team highlighted his need for extensive medical care and surgery due to an eye condition. The defense argued that this condition should be a factor in allowing him to stay out of jail. It was mentioned that Smirnov is currently being held in isolation due to the high-profile nature of his case.

Federal prosecutors charged Smirnov on February 14th with making false statements to the FBI. According to the charges, Smirnov falsely claimed that executives from a Ukrainian energy company had bribed President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. This bribery allegation played a significant role in the impeachment inquiry led by House Republicans against the president.

Special counsel David Weiss, who has been leading a thorough investigation into Hunter Biden, has brought charges against Smirnov. President Biden’s son has been charged with gun and tax crimes.

Prosecutors cautioned that Smirnov’s claimed connections to Russian intelligence posed a significant flight risk if he were not detained pending trial. However, his legal team argued that FBI and Defense Department officials had encouraged him to establish contacts with foreign government officials as part of his duties as a government informant. They contended that the mere existence of these relationships should not be used as grounds for his continued detention.

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Wright, however, remained skeptical and raised doubts about the extent to which Smirnov’s foreign connections were linked to his government duties. Even Smirnov’s defense attorneys admitted that not all of his ties could be attributed to his work in the government.

Defense lawyers pointed out that Smirnov’s second arrest occurred while he was meeting with them at their office, suggesting that he was preparing for trial rather than attempting to escape. Prosecutors, however, justified arresting him there due to the fact that he possessed nine firearms, including an assault weapon, at his residence.

Washington was left in shock by Smirnov’s indictment. Prior to being charged with lying to the FBI, he had no public profile. However, his role as an anonymous source for the bureau gained national attention when notes from his conversation with his FBI handler were obtained and released by congressional Republicans, headed by Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa.

In the FBI notes, it is mentioned that Smirnov informed his handler in 2020 about a Ukrainian energy mogul who claimed to have paid bribes to Joe and Hunter Biden in 2016 or 2017. When these notes were made public in 2023, Republicans and conservative media figures used them as evidence of corruption within the Biden family, pushing for an impeachment inquiry and accusing the Justice Department of disregarding this potentially harmful allegation.

The Justice Department has recently accused Smirnov of providing false information to the FBI regarding his previous allegation. Smirnov’s legal team has expressed concern that he could potentially face up to three years in prison if found guilty.

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The report was filed by Nieves from Los Angeles, while Swan filed their report from Washington.

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