Republicans Say FBI ‘Motivated By Politics’ In Case Of Lying Informant

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WASHINGTON ― Republicans in Congress want answers from the FBI after basing their impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden largely on faulty information from an FBI informant.

In a letter to FBI director Christopher Wray on Friday, Republicans asked for documents showing how they vetted the informant and how much they paid him ― and suggested the Justice Department arrested him to protect the Biden family.

Federal prosecutors revealed the informant to be a dual U.S.-Irsaeli citizen named Alexander Smirnov last month when it announced charges against him for fabricating a bribery allegation against the president.

Republicans publicized Smirnov’s bribery allegation despite Justice Department warnings that the raw material had not been vetted. Still, the department vouched for Smirnov, saying he’d been a trusted informant on the FBI payroll for years.

“Only 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,” House Oversight Committee chair James Comer (R-Ky.) and House Judiciary Committee chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said in a letter to Wray.

“This episode is just another example of how the FBI is motivated by politics,” Comer and Jordan wrote.

Senior U.S. diplomatic officials have maintained for years that when Biden was vice president, his push for the ouster of a Ukrainian prosecutor reflected U.S. policy and had not been done as a favor to his son, who served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company.

Smirnov’s bribe claim, memorialized in an FBI document known as an FD-1023 form, reinvigorated Republican allegations that ousting the prosecutor reflected corruption by the Bidens. The revelation that Smirnov made it up dealt a death blow to their impeachment inquiry.

The indictment revealed that investigators figured out Smirnov was lying when they checked his story after Republicans made his bribe bluff public. Prosecutors said he made up this allegation in 2020 because he opposed Biden’s bid for the presidency.

Comer and Jordan insinuated the Justice Department was protecting the Biden family and demanded information about Smirnov as part of their impeachment inquiry.

“Although the FBI and Justice Department received Mr. Smirnov’s information in 2020, 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,” the Republicans said.

The FBI declined HuffPost’s request for a comment.