Turley: No, The Indictment Of Alexander Smirnov Does Not Exonerate Hunter Biden

Authored by Jonathan Turley,

The Russian comedian Yakov Smirnoff once joked that “in America, you can always find a party. In Soviet Russia, the Party can always find you.”

Alexander Smirnov is no comedian, but he is about to discover the truth of that statement.

Alexander Smirnov is now a defendant in federal court after being charged by special counsel David Weiss for spreading a false story about Hunter Biden receiving $5 million from Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company.

The allegation has produced a stampede of Democrats who view his indictment as a much-needed talking point as the House continues to build the case of influence-peddling by the Biden family.

Some are using the charges to revive a previously debunked story that Hunter Biden’s laptop could be Russian disinformation. But a closer reading of the filing dispels those claims and contradicts a new effort by Hunter Biden to dismiss charges against himself.

The filing itself is actually an argument to keep Smirnov in federal detention.

The government points out Smirnov’s admitted contacts with Russian intelligence officials and previously scheduled meetings with such figures to argue he is a flight risk.

However, there are a couple of aspects to the filing that undermine the claims of a “bombshell” revelation of a Russian disinformation campaign.

First, these disclosures were not the result of surveillance or interceptions by American intelligence. Smirnov appears to have been cooperating with the United States and told his US “handler” about all of these contacts.

Second, Smirnov’s contacts were described as “recent” and did not apparently precede 2020. They have nothing to do with the laptop or the evidence of influence-peddling found in emails on that computer. This is solely a claim of a large payment to the Bidens from Burisma.

Third, the Justice Department states that Smirnov had expressed “bias” against Joe Biden and used “his routine and unextraordinary business contacts with Burisma” to make the bribery allegations.

So Smirnov operated off a bias against Biden, made an allegation separate from the laptop, and ultimately disclosed his communications to his U.S. handler. He detailed conversations with the “son of a former high-ranking government official” and “someone with ties to a particular Russian intelligence service.” Reports indicate that Smirnov was not only an asset of American intelligence but on the payroll for roughly a decade as a trusted informant.

That does not mean that the Russians were not eager to spread false claims, though it shows again how low-grade such efforts could be. It does not address hundreds of confirmed emails of Hunter Biden cashing in on an array of foreign contacts.

Hunter Biden’s legal team is citing the filing in seeking to cast doubt on all of the allegations and even the pending charges: “It now seems clear that the Smirnov allegations infected this case.”

They insist that the bribe allegation was key to the loss of the plea agreement that they struck with the president’s son. They argued that “having taken Mr. Smirnov’s bait of grand, sensational charges, the Diversion Agreement that had just been entered into and Plea Agreement that was on the verge of being finalized suddenly became inconvenient for the prosecution, and it reversed course and repudiated those Agreements.”

That is not how it happened.

Hunter Biden had received a sweetheart deal so rich as to put most defendants into hyperglycemic shock. Hunter would have avoided any jail time and been given sweeping immunity from future charges.

The reason that the deal fell apart was not any particular allegation of bribes. The alleged bribe was not part of the case. It fell apart because the judge asked a simple question on the meaning of the immunity. The deal immediately imploded as the prosecutor was forced to admit that he had never seen a deal like this for anyone other than Hunter Biden.

In relation to the influence-peddling investigation, this filing does not change the evidence that the Biden family made millions in shaking down foreign companies and business figures.

On Wednesday, Capitol Hill will witness something that many thought would never come. The House is calling a Biden to actually answer questions under oath about influence-peddling. James Biden, brother of the president, will testify on his long history of leveraging the name and influence of his brother. That includes $200,000 given to him by a collapsing hospital chain company, Americore.

Biden reportedly pitched a percentage deal with his brother and immediately turned over the money to Joe Biden to pay off a prior “loan.”

That was not the creation of a “biased” Russian but the Biden family itself. Smirnov was not at the dinners and meetings where Joe Biden called in to chat. He was not the recipient of messages from Hunter threatening that his father was “sitting next to” him and waiting for transfers of money. He was not the source of gifts and expense accounts to cover Hunter’s lavish lifestyle. .

Most importantly, Smirnov was not the reason that Hunter was indicted by the same prosecutor, David Weiss, who just indicted him.

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