Trial for FBI Informant Accused of Faking Biden Bribe Claims Won’t Begin Until After 2024 Election Judge Rules

Alexander Smirnov was identified earlier this year as a confidential FBI informant who passed allegations to the bureau.

A federal judge has granted a request to delay the criminal trial of Alexander Smirnov, an FBI informant accused of lying about a bribery scheme involving President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, until after the 2024 election.

On Friday, April 12, U.S. District Judge Wright granted a request jointly made by Mr. Smirnov’s defense team and federal prosecutors, seeking to delay his trial.

Mr. Smirnov’s trial was originally set to begin in a federal court in Los Angeles, California, on April 23. A trial is now tentatively set to begin on Dec. 3, 2024, about a month after the election in which President Biden stands as the Democratic party’s presumptive nominee.

Mr. Smirnov was identified earlier this year as a confidential FBI informant who passed allegations to the bureau that officials at a Ukrainian gas company, Burisma Holdings, had informed him in 2016 that they had engaged in a bribery scheme involving then-Vice President Joe Biden and Mr. Biden. Mr. Smirnov alleged Burisma officials admitted paying $5 million to each of the Bidens in exchange for their help protecting the company from various problems, including stopping an investigation by Ukraine’s then-prosecutor general.

Special Counsel David Weiss has alleged Mr. Smirnov fabricated the bribery allegations against the Biden family members, and federal authorities arrested the former FBI informant when he arrived at the Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada, in February. Mr. Smirnov is charged with one count of making false statements and another charge of creating a false record.

The joint request for a trial delay notes the trial may involve materials regulated by the Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA), and state’s Mr. Smirnov’s legal team is working to obtain the security clearances necessary to view classified materials in the case.

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Judge Wright concluded failure to grant the continuance “would unreasonably deny defendant continuity of counsel and would deny defense counsel the reasonable time necessary for effective preparation” in the case.

The Case Against Smirnov

Prior to his arrest and indictment, Mr. Smirnov’s bribery allegations had bolstered an ongoing Republican-led impeachment inquiry focused on allegations that President Biden has engaged in influence peddling with his family throughout his political career. The Republican-led investigation has repeatedly focused on then-Vice President Biden’s involvement in efforts in late 2015 and early 2016 urging the Ukrainian government to oust its prosecutor general, Viktor Shokin. Mr. Shokin has claimed he was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into Burisma Holdings at the time of his ouster while Mr. Biden sat on the gas company’s board of directors.

According to the indictment, Mr. Smirnov had informed the FBI in March of 2017 that Burisma Holdings was interested in acquiring a U.S. company and making an initial public offering (IPO) on a U.S.-based stock exchange. Mr. Smirnov noted during this 2017 disclosure that Mr. Biden sat on the Ukrainian gas companies’ board but did not mention the bribery allegations at the time.

Federal prosecutors say Mr. Smirnov finally came forward with the bribery allegations in a June 2020 disclosure.

The indictment against Mr. Smirnov alleges the FBI informant “transformed his routine and unextraordinary business contacts with Burisma in 2017 and later into bribery allegations against” the Biden family in 2020, as President Biden was running to become the next president.

President Biden denied being involved in his family’s business dealings and insisted that his role in Mr. Shokin’s ouster was consistent with the policy objectives of the Obama administration and Western allies.

Congressional Democrats have repeatedly cast the House Republican impeachment inquiry into the Biden family as a failure and have pointed to Mr. Smirnov’s indictment as a fatal blow for the Republican efforts.

“The impeachment investigation essentially ended yesterday, in substance,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, told The Epoch Times in February following one of Mr. Smirnov’s earlier court appearances.

Mr. Smirnov faces up to 25 years in prison if he’s convicted.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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