Prosecution of FBI’s Biden Bribery Informant Raises Questions

What’s happening: The Department of Justice (DOJ) indicted ex-FBI informant Alexander Smirnov this month on charges of making false statements to the FBI about allegations President Joe Biden took a bribe as vice president.

  • Catch up: In 2020, Smirnov told the FBI about a conversation with an executive at the Ukrainian energy company that employed Hunter Biden at the time. The executive allegedly told Smirnov he paid Joe Biden $5 million to stop a Ukrainian prosecutor from investigating the company.

  • Now: The DOJ claims Smirnov’s account was “a fabrication” because he contradicted himself on some details and got the story from Russian intelligence officials.

Why it matters: The case threatens to delegitimize allegations that are important to Republicans’ impeachment effort against Biden. However, there are several reasons to question the DOJ’s narrative.

  • Smirnov was trusted: The government had used Smirnov as an informant for over a decade and paid him six figures.

  • Playing the Russia card: Federal operatives have repeatedly spread hoaxes or suppressed damaging information about the Bidens in the name of thwarting a supposed Russian plot.

In fact: Whistleblowers have alleged that the DOJ falsely labeled Smirnov’s story as Russian disinformation to keep employees from investigating Biden in 2020, despite its credibility.

  • The prosecutor leading the case against Smirnov is Special Counsel David Weiss, whom whistleblowers have accused of going soft on Hunter Biden’s alleged crimes under pressure from the DOJ.

  • Motives: Weiss’s team argued Smirnov should be jailed until trial because he seeks to “spread misinformation” that might “impact US elections.”

The bottom line: It’s possible Smirnov lied; it’s also plausible the Biden administration is using prosecutorial power to protect its boss from scrutiny as he runs for reelection.