Los Angeles judge denies bail to key informant on Biden family activity abroad

Prosecutors accuse Alexander Smirnov of spreading lies that "could affect the U.S. elections" in 2024.

A California court ordered that Alexander Smirnov, accused of lying about the Biden family's business ties, continue to be detained until the start of his trial. Federal Judge Otis Wright denied bail for the 43-year-old Monday, who had previously claimed that both Joe and Hunter Biden received millions of dollars from the Ukrainian company Burisma.

The former FBI informant was recently arrested in Nevada and accused of spreading lies that "could affect the U.S. elections" related to the Biden family's activity abroad. His statements were taken up by Republicans as part of the impeachment investigation against the Democratic president. The charges were filed in Los Angeles and the trial will begin in the coming weeks.

According to the judge, Smirnov must remain detained because he is a potential flight risk, based in part on the existence of a bank account in his girlfriend's name containing $3.7 million.

The lawyers of the former FBI informant argued that their client was financially prepared to face the case and dismiss the charges, so that risk of flight does not exist.

In turn, they assured that they were willing to pay for 24-hour security to effectively guarantee that Smirnov did not flee. In turn, they agreed to rent an apartment in Los Angeles during the trial so they would not have to travel from Las Vegas.

Judge Wright did not understand it that way, saying he was not convinced that the risk of flight was zero. He said he was "not satisfied there are conditions … that will satisfy my concern whether you will flee the jurisdiction."

"Prosecutors allege that Smirnov repeatedly lied to his FBI handler, whom he worked with for more than a decade, and should not be trusted," CNN recently reported. They also allege that he has extensive international contacts and that he lied to authorities about his access to more than $6 million in liquid funds.