Guess What Just Disappeared From GOP’s Biden Impeachment Website

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House Oversight Republicans have yanked a reference to their major flop of an FBI informant on the committee website, where it previously had pride of place as part of the impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden.

Republicans have hinged their Biden investigation on accusations from a supposedly credible but confidential FBI source that Biden and his son Hunter accepted bribes from a Ukrainian oligarch. But the Justice Department has since charged that source, former FBI informant Alexander Smirnov, with making false statements and revealed his accusation may have been Russian disinformation.

As of Thursday, the House Oversight website displays a list of key evidence in the committee’s Biden family investigation, including an error-ridden timeline of the president’s supposed corruption, the family’s bank records, and a transcribed interview with a witness who actually debunked all of the Republicans’ claims.

But an archived version of the website shows the key evidence list used to include a link to “FBI Form 1023 alleging then-Vice President Joe Biden engaged in a bribery and extortion scheme and ultimately received $5 million from a Burisma executive.”

FD-1023s are forms that the FBI uses to record anonymously sourced, unverified information. The form in question alleges that a source reported Biden and his son Hunter each accepted a $5 million bribe from an executive at Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company on whose board Hunter served.

Republicans have repeatedly cited this form as concrete proof that Biden is guilty of corruption, despite the fact that the FBI could not prove the information was credible. GOP leadership was warned as much, but it still pushed forward with the investigation into the Bidens.

As it turns out, the story was totally made up. Last week, the Justice Department charged the source, businessman Alexander Smirnov, with making a false statement and creating a false record related to the bribery allegation. And on Tuesday, the department revealed Smirnov confessed that Russian intelligence officers helped him smear Hunter Biden.

With the investigation going up in smoke around them, Republican leaders have started to erase references to Smirnov. House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan and Oversight Chair James Comer, who have spearheaded the probe, sent a letter Tuesday evening to former State Department official Amos Hochstein requesting an interview. The GOP has accused Hochstein of advising Hunter Biden at Burisma.

The original letter, which was obtained by The New Republic, included a section explaining the reason for the Biden investigation, with a paragraph that described a credible, confidential source’s accusation that a Ukrainian gas company executive had bribed the president. This background information has been standard for Republicans’ interview request letters during the impeachment inquiry thus far.

But an hour later, Republicans sent out a second version of the letter, also obtained by TNR. This time, the entire paragraph about the informant had been deleted.