Judge Denies Bail for FBI Informant Accused of False Claims About Biden’s Business Links

(USNewsMag.com) – An ex-FBI informant accused of lying about the business ties of President Joe Biden’s family was denied bail on Monday by a federal judge in California.

US District Judge Otis Wright denied Alexander Smirnov bail on Monday, February 26th, ordering that he remain detained leading up to his trial. The judgment is in line with federal prosecutors who said that Smirnov posed a high flight risk.

Smirnov’s lawyers argued that the significant investment made by the defendant to battle the charges against him proves he isn’t a flight risk and intends to see the case through. David Chesnoff, one of Smirnov’s defense lawyers, said that his client never tried to run and “didn’t try to move money.”

Judge Wright was not convinced by the argument and said that the conditions did “not satisfy” his concerns about whether or not Smirnov would “flee the jurisdiction.”

Prosecutors also noted that the defendant has a large amount of influential connections and that his girlfriend oversees a bank account containing $3.7 million. One of the prosecutors, Leo Wise, told the judge that Smirnov “cannot be trusted.”

His defense attorneys countered that argument by vowing to pay for a round-the-clock private security detail to watch Smirnov and ensure he did not flee. They also promised to lease an apartment in Los Angeles for Smirnov to stay in throughout the trial’s duration rather than having him return to his LAvVegas residence. The judge dismissed that proposal.

The 43-year-old ex-FBI informant was transferred from Nevada to California for the trial, in which he is charged with attempting to “impact US elections” by peddling disinformation about the president’s family and their foreign business ties, specifically about an alleged bribery scheme involving Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company.

The specific charges against Smirnov are creating a false and fictitious record and making a false statement for reporting back to his FBI handler that executives from Burisma paid Biden and his son $5 million each while Biden was serving as vice president in 2015 under former President Barack Obama. That specific claim was used by Congress Republicans in their recent impeachment inquiry of the president.

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