Indictment: Ex-FBI informant fabricated corruption allegations against Hunter Biden

There is a spectacular twist in the allegations against the US President's son Hunter Biden that he exploited his father's position of power for shady business: a former informant for the FBI Federal Police is said to have fabricated relevant information about Hunter Biden. The man was therefore charged and arrested, as the US justice system announced on Thursday.

For the opposition Republicans, this development is a serious setback in their efforts to initiate impeachment proceedings against President Joe Biden on corruption charges. The allegations made by former FBI informant Alexander Smirnov about events surrounding a Ukrainian gas company have played a central role in these Republican efforts so far.

Smirnov was arrested at the airport in Las Vegas after returning from abroad, according to the special prosecutor responsible for the investigation against Hunter Biden. According to a jury's indictment against Smirnov, the now 43-year-old lied when he claimed that Joe and Hunter Biden each took five million dollars (4.65 million euros) in bribes to protect the Ukrainian gas company Burisma from prosecution protect.

Smirnov faces up to 25 years in prison. The information about the Bidens given to the FBI by the ex-informant was “fictions,” the indictment says. “Despite repeated warnings that he must provide truthful information to the FBI and not fabricate false evidence, the defendant has provided false and derogatory information (about the Bidens).”

The Republicans accuse Hunter Biden of having in the past abused his father's important position as a former deputy to President Barack Obama for business in Ukraine and China. The conservatives' attacks are ultimately aimed at President Biden, whom they accuse of being involved in his son's controversial foreign business dealings and of having benefited financially from them.

So far, the Republicans have failed to provide any evidence for their accusations against the president, which even conservative politicians admit. Biden's Democrats accuse the Republicans of a political maneuver to harm the incumbent before the presidential election in November – and to take revenge for the two impeachment proceedings against former President Donald Trump. The election will likely see another duel between Biden and Trump.

The indictment against Smirnov states that his allegations are incoherent over time. Smirnov told the FBI in June 2020 that he had met with Burisma executives “in 2015 and/or 2016 during the Obama/Biden administration.” They confided in him that they protected their company “from any problems” with the judiciary with the help of Hunter Biden and his father and paid each of them five million dollars for this.

Hunter Biden was a member of Burisma's leadership at the time. At the time, the company was facing investigations by the Ukrainian prosecutor general, from which it hoped to receive protection from the Bidens, according to the indictment.

However, it has now emerged that Smirnov only came into contact with Burisma in 2017, when Obama's Republican successor Trump was already in power. At that time, Biden was no longer able to influence US politics, the indictment emphasizes. She also emphasizes that Smirnov waited to make his allegations until Biden emerged as Trump's challenger in the presidential election. Smirnov expressed “bias” against Biden and his candidacy.

Hunter Biden is a favorite Republican target. The former lawyer, lobbyist and businessman repeatedly makes headlines with legal problems. He was charged in December with having evaded taxes over several years.

Hunter Biden was previously charged with illegal weapons possession in September. He is accused of briefly possessing a revolver in 2018, even though he was prohibited from doing so as a drug user. The 54-year-old son of the president says he has now got his previous drug and alcohol problems under control.

Hunter Biden is the president's second son. His older brother Beau Biden died of a brain tumor in 2015. As children, Hunter and Beau survived a serious car accident in which Joe Biden's first wife Neilia and their daughter Naomi died in 1972.