Comer, Jordan push FBI for info on now-indicted informant behind bogus Biden bribery claim

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House Republicans are pushing for more information on an FBI informant now who was recently indicted for alleged fabrication of Biden family bribery allegations — claims that GOP investigators once saw as a boost to their impeachment probe.

Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Oversight Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) sent a letter on Friday to FBI Director Christopher Wray, asking for a sweep of information related to Alexander Smirnov. He is the FBI informant facing charges from DOJ special counsel David Weiss, who is running the yearslong federal investigation into Hunter Biden, the president’s son.

“Pursuant to the House’s impeachment inquiry into President Biden, as well as the Committees’ Constitutional oversight authority over the Department of Justice and the FBI, the Committees require documents and information related to the FBI’s handling of Mr. Smirnov and the information he provided to the FBI for over a decade,” the Republicans wrote in a letter to Wray.

Jordan and Comer added that they had relied on the FBI’s description of Smirnov as “highly credible.”

The two Republicans are giving the FBI until March 15 to hand over details on any criminal cases that included information from Smirnov; how much Smirnov was paid for his cooperation and how he was validated as a confidential source; and any records related to concerns within the FBI of wrongdoing or inaccurate reporting related to him.

The two Republicans, who are leading the impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, also want any records related to an investigation of the Biden bribery allegations.

In a 2020 FBI document, released publicly by Republicans last year, Smirnov recounted to a bureau interviewer what he characterized as a conversation with Mykola Zlochevsky, the owner of the Ukraine energy company Burisma. Smirnov claimed that Zlochevsky said he paid Hunter Biden and Joe Biden a bribe — an allegation that was fabricated, per a recent DOJ court filing.

Comer and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) first hinted at the existence of the allegations in May, when the Kentucky Republican issued a subpoena citing a whistleblower complaint. That sparked a weekslong standoff with the FBI, which ultimately allowed members of the House Oversight Committee to see, but not retain, the document. Grassley also publicly released a redacted version of the form, which he said that he was able to do because of disclosures from whistleblowers.

Both Republicans and Democrats on the Oversight Committee said at the time that the FBI described their source — who turned out to be Smirnov — as credible. But the bureau also directly warned lawmakers that information being included in the FBI record, known as an FD-1023, did not mean it was verified.

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