House Republicans Demand Answers From FBI Director Wray About Indictment Against Former FBI Informant



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As the fallout from the Justice Department’s indictment against former FBI informant Alexander Smirnov continues to play out, House Republicans are bringing up some valid questions about the disposition of the agency toward Smirnov before and after he accused President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, of accepting bribes in exchange for favors.


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Rep. James Comer, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee and Rep. Jim Jordan, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, have sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray demanding answers related to questions about the agency’s effort to prosecute Smirnov for allegedly lying to investigators about the Biden bribery scandal.

In the letter, shared exclusively with the Federalist, the representatives noted that,

Prior to the indictment, the FBI allowed Mr. Smirnov to serve as a [confidential human source (CHS)] for over 14 years and earn a six-figure income, while maintaining ‘extensive and extremely recent’ foreign intelligence contacts.

They also pointed out that the Bureau “held Mr. Smirnov out as a ‘highly credible’ source whose outing could endanger national security.” Yet, it was “[o]nly after Mr. Smirnov reported that President Joe Biden accepted a bribe from a Ukrainian energy company in exchange for using his official position to oust the Ukrainian Prosecutor General did the FBI apparently take a hard look at this CHS.”

The lawmakers later in the letter reaffirmed that the Bureau insisted Smirnov was “highly credible,” and that the “disclosure of information” about him “could jeopardize national security.”

Smirnov’s allegations came to light in 2023 when Sen. Chuck Grassley announced that an informant had reported that both Bidens had received about $5 million each to use their positions to benefit Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company in question. The issue centered on a FD-1023 form that was used by the informant to detail the alleged bribery scandal.

House Republicans had demanded to see the document, but the FBI slow-walked the process for as long as possible. The Bureau on June 1, 2023, told the House Oversight Committee that it would only allow lawmakers to review the document “in camera” to,

“maintain the confidentiality of this sensitive information . . . both in response to congressional requests and in court in criminal proceedings to protect the physical safety of sources and witnesses and the integrity of investigations.”

Comer and Jordan further pointed out that while the Bureau and Justice Department were given Smirnov’s information in 2021, “it was only after the FD-1023 was publicly released nearly three years later—implicating President Biden and his family—that the FBI apparently decided to conduct any review of Mr. Smirnov’s credibility as a CHS.”

This letter raises one of the most important questions about the Smirnov case. Why would the Bureau indicate that he was “credible,” and then, later, turn around and indict him for allegedly making up the bribery scandal? What changed between 2020 and 2024 that made them suspicious of his statements?

There could be a perfectly legitimate reason for this. Perhaps some other information surfaced indicating that the former informant was less than honest. On the other hand, given what we have seen from this administration so far, the notion that this could be nothing more than an effort to silence an individual with damning information about the president and his son is certainly plausible. After all, the FBI and Justice Department have both been leveraged against certain individuals for political concerns.

The lawmakers demanded that Wray provide documents and other information related to the Bureau’s investigation into Smirnov to get to the bottom of the matter. However, the FBI will be hesitant to participate in the level of transparency that Comer and Jordan are requesting, so it could be quite some time before we know more about the effort to prosecute Smirnov.



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