Hunter Biden says indicted ex-FBI informant’s claims tainted cases against him

By Thomson Reuters Feb 20, 2024 | 8:10 PM

By Kanishka Singh

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The legal team for Hunter Biden, U.S. President Joe Biden’s son, said on Tuesday that an indicted former FBI informant’s claims had raised legal troubles for him.

In separate court filings, the legal team argued that the claims by the FBI informant – accused of lying about a bribery scheme involving Hunter Biden and his father – threw an earlier plea deal into jeopardy and led to two indictments against Hunter Biden on tax evasion and gun charges.

Former FBI informant, Alexander Smirnov, 43, was charged last week with lying about the Bidens’ alleged involvement in business dealings with Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings. Smirnov has also had contact with foreign intelligence services, including Russian intelligence agencies, prosecutors have alleged.

In a Tuesday court filing, Abbe Lowell, a lawyer for Hunter Biden, called Smirnov’s claims “ridiculous,” adding: “It now seems clear that the Smirnov allegations infected this case.”

Prosecutors had followed Smirnov “down his rabbit hole of lies,” the filing said. It argued that Hunter Biden’s plea deal fell apart because prosecutors at the time were looking into bribery claims from the indicted ex-FBI informant that they now consider to be a lie.

In another court filing, Hunter Biden asked for the dismissal of his tax case in California.

Hunter Biden, 53, was indicted in September on charges of lying about his drug use when he bought a firearm in 2018, becoming the first child of a sitting president to be charged with a felony. He was again indicted in December in California for failing to pay $1.4 million in taxes.

Hunter Biden’s legal troubles have been a lightning rod for Republicans, who have made investigations of the president’s son a key part of their impeachment inquiry of the president, who is a Democrat.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington; Editing by Michelle Nichols and Himani Sarkar)