(WASHINGTON) — Special counsel David Weiss has charged an FBI confidential source who provided derogatory information about President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden to the bureau with felony false statement and obstruction charges.

Weiss charged Alexander Smirnov, 43, with one count of making a false statement and one count of creating a false and fictitious record related to statements he made to the FBI on a document known as an FBI Form 1023.

Charging documents show Smirnov was a confidential source for the FBI and provided “false derogatory information about [President Biden] and [Hunter Biden] … in 2020, after [Biden] became a presidential candidate.”

Smirnov allegedly reported to an FBI agent in March 2017 that he had a phone call with the owner of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, and noted Hunter Biden was at the time a member of Burisma’s board.

Three years later, Smirnov allegedly made false statements in recounting two meetings in 2015 or 2016 in which executives associated with Burisma told him they had hired Hunter Biden to “protect us, through his dad, from all kinds of problems.” He further said the executives paid $5 million each to Hunter Biden and President Biden while Biden was in office as vice president, so that Hunter “will take care of all those issues through his dad,” referring to the then-criminal investigation being conducted by the then-Ukrainian prosecutor general into Burisma.

Those events were fabrications, Weiss alleged in his new indictment. Instead, Smirnov had only contacted the Burisma executives in 2017 after the end of Biden’s time as vice president and after the Ukrainian prosecutor general had already been fired, according to the indictment.

“The indictment alleges that the [Smirnov] transformed his routine and unextraordinary business contacts with Burisma in 2017 and later into bribery allegations against [President Biden] after expressing bias against [Biden] and his presidential candidacy,” Weiss’ office said in their statement announcing the charges.

Smirnov was again interviewed by FBI agents in September 2023, the indictment says, and he repeated earlier false claims and also changed his story to promote “a new false narrative after he said he met with Russian officials.”

Smirnov was arrested at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas on Wednesday after arriving to the U.S. from overseas, the Department of Justice said. He was schedule to make his initial appearance Thursday.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison.

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