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Feds Arrest FBI Informant For Second Time After Judge Had Ordered His Release

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The FBI informant accused of lying to the FBI about corruption involving the Biden family was arrested for a second time on Thursday.

Special counsel David Weiss, who is leading the investigation into Hunter Biden, arrested Alexander Smirnov last week following a grand jury indictment.

Smirnov allegedly provided false information to federal authorities by claiming that Ukrainian energy company Burisma had paid then-Vice President Joe Biden and Hunter Biden $5 million each in either 2015 or 2016.

Despite being released from custody with a GPS tracker and instructed to surrender his U.S. and Israeli passports by U.S. Magistrate Judge Daniel Albregts on Tuesday, prosecutors sought to suspend this order, which was ultimately denied by Albregts.

Federal authorities defied the judge’s instructions and rearrested Alexander Smirnov on Thursday during a meeting with his legal counsel in Las Vegas. Attorney David Chesnoff detailed the unusual events in a court document seeking urgent intervention from the judge.

Chesnoff explained:

On February 21, 2024, the Government filed an application to reopen the detention hearing in the underlying case. The Government’s application makes no mention of any second, then-unserved arrest warrant for Mr. Smirnov based on the same charges.

Despite Judge Albregts’s prior ruling, denial of the stay request, and Mr. Smirnov’s prior release from custody, on the morning of February 22, 2024, Mr. Smirnov was arrested for a second time — on the same charges and based on the same indictment … while at the undersigned counsel’s law office for meetings with counsel.

Chesnoff claimed that the incident violated Smirnov’s important Sixth Amendment rights.

Furthermore, Chesnoff accused authorities of overstepping their bounds by defying the court’s decision to release Smirnov and rejecting the prosecutors’ appeal for a delay on that ruling.

On Thursday evening, Judge Albregts instructed the government to address the defense team’s plea for a prompt detention hearing by Friday afternoon.

Former high-ranking FBI official Andrew Weissmann detailed why he views the situation as being suspicious.

“Special Counsel Weiss is playing with fire here-he can appeal the Magistrate’s decision to release Smirnov (and has done so), but arresting him on the same case the Magistrate released him on smacks of impropriety,” Weissmann explained.

However, the scenario changed on Friday when Judge Otis Wright from the central district of California disclosed that he had instructed for Smirnov to be rearrested and held in detention.

Wright alleged in his ruling that Smirnov’s legal representatives were attempting to secure his release “probably to aid Smirnov in escaping from the United States.”

Smirnov’s lawyers have rebutted claims that he poses a flight risk. Chesnoff, for instance, highlighted the fact that authorities discovered him at his attorneys’ office during his rearrest as proof that he had no plans to abscond.

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Joe Messina

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