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Ben Weingarten

Federalist Senior Contributor; Claremont Institute Fellow

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With or without Smirnov, Bidens are still corrupt

Mar 5

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On Feb. 14, Alexander Smirnov, a key figure in the Republican impeachment inquiries against President Biden, was arrested and charged with lying to the FBI. The Department of Justice alleges that Smirnov’s claims, a key ingredient for much of the GOP investigation, are verifiably false and that Smirnov made those statements knowing that they were untrue. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a leader of the impeachment inquiries, argued that the investigations should continue with or without him.

Straight Arrow News contributor Ben Weingarten agrees with Rep. Jordan and casts skepticism on Smirnov’s presumed guilt, arguing that Smirnov was an honest, long-time FBI informant prior to the Biden inquiry. Weingarten also says that Smirnov’s indictment came just after the release of Robert Hur’s report, which he says included damaging observations on President Biden’s cognitive health, and wonders whether that might be more than just coincidence.

Democrats and the media — leveraging the Biden DOJ via Special Counsel David Weiss’ office — have launched an op to discredit the impeachment inquiry and House Republican investigators leading it into the Biden family international influence peddling scheme, and the DOJ and Weiss’ alleged obstruction of the investigation of that scheme.

They started the op less than a week after the bombshell claims in Special Counsel Robert Hur’s report that not only had President Biden unlawfully retained classified documents he took as a vice president and senator, but that he was in cognitive decline to such a degree that DOJ wouldn’t prosecute him because it felt a jury would feel too bad for him on the stand in his diminished condition to convict.

Democrats and the media – leveraging the Biden DOJ via Special Counsel David Weiss’ office – have launched an op to discredit the impeachment inquiry and House Republican investigators leading it into the Biden family international influence peddling scheme, and the DOJ and Weiss’ alleged obstruction of the investigation of that scheme.

 

They started the op less than a week after the bombshell claims in Special Counsel Robert Hur’s report that not only had President Biden unlawfully retained classified documents he took as a vice president and senator, but that he was in cognitive decline to such a degree that DOJ wouldn’t prosecute him because, it felt a jury would feel too bad for him on the stand, in his diminished condition, to convict.

 

On October 14th, Weiss indicted Alexander Smirnov, taking the Biden cognitive decline story out of the headlines.

 

Smirnov was the man behind the allegation that Hunter Biden and perhaps his father had received $5 million bribes, bribes seemingly tied to then-VP Biden’s effort to leverage foreign aid to entice the then-Ukrainian president to fire the then-prosecutor general pursuing the owner of energy company Burisma, on whose board Hunter Biden sat.

 

Burisma’s head honcho in other words was supposedly paying the Bidens to protect him.

 

Weiss’ office seemingly sat on that allegation until congressional Republicans pressed for the associated records, having discovered them through whistleblower disclosures.

 

According to the indictment, Smirnov’s bribe claim, among others however, was false, in part because of a claimed shoddy timeline – although some Twitter sleuths have started to pick this claim apart.

 

Further, the DOJ went to great and atypical lengths to link Smirnov to several supposedly high-powered and dangerous Russian intelligence officials – one of whom supposedly was running an operation collecting kompromat on American political figures for potential use in 2024.

 

Smirnov conveyed what he had heard to the FBI, telling them they should look into Hunter Biden’s frequenting of one Ukrainian hotel, where he suggested Russians were recording footage, and could have intercepted his phone calls.

 

According to the feds, this was “misinformation,” since Hunter Biden had never visited Ukraine.

 

Many of these details came in an effort to claim Smirnov was a flight risk, with the feds adding that from the bribe allegation to this latest one:

 

Smirnov’s efforts to spread misinformation about a candidate of one of the two major parties in the United States continues…He is actively peddling new lies that could impact U.S. elections after meeting with Russian intelligence officials in November.

 

After the DOJ failed to convince a judge to keep him detained, they appealed to another judge claiming his lawyers were working to “likely…facilitate his absconding from the United States” and got him re-arrested.

 

The thing is, there are some very strange aspects to this story.

 

Smirnov served as a confidential human source to the FBI for over a decade, was supposedly very credible, and highly paid. If he was so untrustworthy, how did he survive as an informant for this long? Why did he bring in six figures worth of compensation? Was this just gross incompetence?

 

The FBI also withheld the FD-1023 document on the alleged Biden bribes from Congress, risking a contempt of Congress proceeding against Director Wray, whose bureau claimed this source was highly credible, and that they couldn’t release the document for national security reasons — not wanting to expose sources and methods and the like.

 

Now all the sudden Smirnov is totally unreliable? And it’s ok to disclose in very granular detail myriad conversations he had with his FBI handler?

 

They’re not only burning this source. They’re burning him beyond recognition, and seemingly trying to keep him quiet and constrained in his ability to defend himself.

 

What kind of message does this send to other would-be informants?

 

Also, if Smirnov is supposedly laundering Russian disinformation now, how come there was no concern about his credibility and motives before?

 

Democrats and the media don’t seem to care about these questions.

 

They’ve sought to exploit the indictment for political gain — arguing Smirnov’s allegedly false bribe allegation and other lies, and his ties to Russian intel, taint and discredit the entire House impeachment inquiry as baseless and the product of a Russian information operation.

 

House Republicans are stooges, just like the GOP is in Putin’s pocket because it has questions about extending an infinite blank check to Ukraine in its war with Russia.

 

But here’s the thing.

 

Even if everything Smirnov ever told the FBI was a lie, it doesn’t change the fact that the Biden family engaged in a multi-million dollar international influence peddling scheme involving our worst adversaries, monetizing Joe Biden as the sole asset of the operation; that Biden repeatedly lied about his knowledge of and involvement in it, in fact meeting or speaking with nearly every person who paid his family; that the Bidens seemingly sought to conceal it by flowing the funds across nearly two-dozen shell companies; and that the FBI/DOJ seemingly sought to cover it up and not prosecute associated crimes — as evinced by a bevy of bank records, communications, testimony, and the timeline of events.

 

The alleged bribes were simply consistent with everything we knew. They were not the basis for the impeachment inquiry. Rather they “bolstered” what was firmly documented – as Republicans laid out in their scoping memo for the probe. And the whole purpose of probing the 1023 was to determine its veracity, and what the FBI was doing sitting on it for all these years.

 

As peerless New York Post reporter Miranda Devine aptly put it, after the notorious Trump-Russia collusion hoax, and the Hunter Biden laptop as Russian disinformation hoax, this is Russiagate 3.0.

 

The thing is, Hunter Biden’s laptop wasn’t Russian disinformation; the text messages, subpoenaed bank records, suspicious activity reports, and sworn testimony of the Bidens and their confidantes aren’t Russian disinformation either.

 

Americans shouldn’t fall for the Smirnov op.

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