FBI informant accused of lying about Hunter Biden in 2020

Alexander Smirnov, 43, is accused of making a false statement and creating a fictitious record during FBI interviews.

(AFP) Special counsel David Weiss, investigating whether Hunter Biden used the power and prestige of his father, President Joe Biden, to obtain millions of dollars in bribes from a Ukrainian company, accused an FBI informant of lying, according to a federal document.

Alexander Smirnov, 43, was accused of fabricating allegations that President Biden's son demanded money to protect Burisma, who he worked for at the time, from being the subject of an investigation.

A grand jury indictment in federal court in California on Wednesday says that for at least a decade Smirnov acted as a "confidential human source" for the FBI, providing information for criminal investigations.

"Despite repeated admonishments that he must provide truthful information to the FBI and that he must not fabricate evidence, Smirnov provided false derogatory information to the FBI," about Joe and Hunter Biden, the document says.

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The indictment alleges that in June 2020, Smirnov told his agent for the first time about meetings he said occurred four to five years earlier, in which executives from Burisma said they hired Hunter Biden "to protect us, through his dad, from all kinds of problems."

Smirnov told the FBI that the executives claimed they "specifically paid $5 million" to Joe Biden and Hunter Biden to have Hunter Biden "take care of all those issues through his dad." The document says they were referring to a criminal investigation by the Ukrainian attorney general into Burisma. "The events that Smirnov first reported to the FBI Agent in June 2020 were fabrications," the document says.

Smirnov, who is a permanent resident of the United States, according to The New York Times, was arrested Wednesday at an international airport in Las Vegas while returning from abroad, the Justice Department said in a statement Thursday.

He faces one count of fabricating accusations and one count of creating false and fictitious records in connection with an FBI investigation. He can be imprisoned for up to 25 years if found guilty.