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US: Former FBI informant charged with "lying" about Joe and Hunter Biden's involvement with Ukrainian firm

Washington DC: A former FBI informant, Alexander Smirnov, has been charged with lying about President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden's involvement in business dealings with Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings, CNN reported.
Notably, this is a significant development, as the allegations of the Biden father-son duo were the major aspect of Republicans' impeachment inquiry against the US President.
Smirnov (43) is facing charges in connection with lying to the FBI and creating "false records".
He was arrested Thursday at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas, after his arrival in the US from overseas, and will make his initial appearance in federal court Thursday afternoon.
The indictment alleges that Smirnov's story to the FBI "was a fabrication, an amalgam of otherwise unremarkable business meetings and contacts that had occurred but at a later date than he claimed and to pitch Burisma on the Defendant's services and products, not for discussing bribes to [Joe Biden] when he was in office."
While announcing the impeachment inquiry, then-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said "A trusted FBI informant has alleged a bribe to the Biden family."
The FBI is now using some of the same memos that congressional Republicans released as part of their indictment against Smirnov, according to CNN.
"For months we have warned that Republicans have built their conspiracies about Hunter and his family on lies told by people with political agendas, not facts," Hunter Biden's lawyer Abbe Lowell said in a statement to CNN.
"We were right and the air is out of their balloon. This is just another instance of Chairmen Comer and Jordan peddling falsehoods based on dishonest, uncredible allegations and witnesses," he added.
House Oversight Chair James Comer said in a Thursday statement to CNN that his investigation into the president does not revolve around Smirnov or his claims made in the FD-1023 - a form the FBI uses to memorialize information gathered from confidential sources - that Republican legislators have cited.
GOP Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who publicly released the 1023 form last year said that his goal has been to make the Justice Department investigate the bribery allegations against the Bidens.
"This indictment isn't enough," a Grassley spokesperson said in a statement. "The public has a right to see all the underlying evidence supporting the Biden Justice Department's case. The Biden administration must show it's work."
According to court records, Smirnov told an FBI agent that he had spoken with the owner of Burisma about the company's efforts to buy a company in the United States, CNN reported.
According to this report, the indictment alleges, that Smirnov also noted that someone referred to as "Businessperson 1" was on the board of Burisma and was also the son of an individual referred to as "Public Official 1."
Though the indictment does not identify these individuals, sources identified "Public Official 1" as Joe Biden and "Businessperson 1" as Hunter Biden.
During Joe Biden's campaign for the presidency, Smirnov allegedly submitted reports to the FBI about two meetings with Burisma executives from 2015 and 2016, during which the executives admitted that they hired Hunter Biden to "protect us, through his dad, from all kinds of problems."
Smirnov also allegedly reported that executives paid USD 5 million each to the father and son while Joe Biden was Vice President so that Hunter would "take care of all those issues through his dad," referring to a criminal investigation being conducted by the then-Ukrainian prosecutor general into Burisma, as per CNN.

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