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Democrats Spin Weiss’s Latest Indictment Into New Russia Hoax To Let Biden Skate In 2024

The Trump-Russia hoaxers are now declaring the Bidens have been exonerated by Weiss’s indictment of Russian-connected CHS Alexander Smirnov.


The same folks who screamed “Russia, Russia, Russia” for years after the Steele dossier was debunked are now declaring the Bidens have been exonerated by Special Counsel David Weiss’s indictment of Russian-connected CHS Alexander Smirnov. That indictment charged Smirnov with lying about conversations he claimed to have had with executives of the Ukrainian energy giant Burisma, which were later memorialized by Smirnov’s handler in an FD-1023.

But the FD-1023 was no Steele dossier. Rather, as National Review’s Andrew McCarthy detailed in his weekend column, “There is already extensive evidence, having nothing to do with Smirnov, of corrupt Biden-family influence-peddling.”

He’s right. In contrast to the Russia-collusion hoax, which rested solely on the Steele dossier to paint Trump as a Putin patsy, evidence of Biden family corruption is comprehensive, diverse, and comes from their own mouths, texts, emails, and loyalists. The Hunter Biden laptop, which Weiss has confirmed is authentic, implicates Hunter, Joe, and Jim Biden in multiple influence-peddling schemes. Bank records confirm the millions in transfers from Chinese communists, Romanians, Ukrainians, and others, including the wife of the former Moscow mayor — who amazingly avoided being included on the Biden administration’s just-released, tougher Russian sanction list. 

Numerous former business associates of Hunter Biden — including ones who remain loyal to the Biden family — confirm Joe Biden helped both Hunter and Jim Biden sell the family brand to foreign buyers, including when he was Barack Obama’s vice president. And bank records, emails, text messages, and other documents recovered from Hunter Biden’s authenticated laptop corroborate their testimony.

So it’s appalling to see the Biden corruption deniers’ manipulation of the Smirnov indictment to launch another Russia-collusion hoax, promising the American public that the entirety of the Biden corruption scandal and Hunter Biden’s legal problems is a Russian disinformation campaign designed to interfere in the 2024 presidential election. 

Weiss’s “very peculiar Smirnov indictment” provided the hook for the Democrats’ deception, by gratuitously positing in court filings that “Smirnov’s contacts with Russian officials who are affiliated with Russian intelligence services are not benign.”

“He is actively peddling new lies that could impact U.S. elections after meeting with Russian intelligence officials in November,” Weiss claimed, which, as I wrote last week, is a “not-so-subtle suggestion that Smirnov is taking part in a Russian disinformation plot to interfere in the upcoming presidential election.”

Democrats and their media accomplices pounced, framing Smirnov’s FD-1023 statements as proven Russian disinformation designed to interfere in the 2020 election, and his more recent reporting as now targeting 2024. 

‘Russian Disinformation’

Notwithstanding the stupidity of this argument, the false narrative quickly expanded to one that portrayed the Hunter Biden indictments and Joe Biden impeachment inquiries as premised on Russian disinformation. NBC News’ Ken Dilanian even used news of Weiss’s prosecution of Smirnov to depict the info-op about Hunter Biden’s laptop Democrats launched to interfere in the 2020 election as justified.

It is now undisputed that the FBI seized Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop from a Delaware computer repair store and confirmed the authenticity of the material contained on the hard drive. Yet Dilanian suggested the 51 former intelligence officials, who had falsely framed the New York Post’s reporting of the laptop as “Russian disinformation,” are vindicated by the allegations against Smirnov. 

“It validates exactly what we were warning about,” Dilanian quoted Marc Polymeropoulos as saying, with Polymeropoulos described as “a 26-year CIA veteran who supervised operations involving Russia.” “Ours was a prudent warning. The Russians were going to push this narrative of Hunter Biden and corruption, to hurt Joe Biden,” Polymeropoulos told his NBC collaborator.

No, what Dilanian and some 50 former intelligence officials were doing the month before the 2020 presidential election was deceiving the voters into believing the Hunter Biden laptop was Russian disinformation. It wasn’t. On the contrary, the laptop provided Americans with concrete evidence of the Biden family’s corruption — which, had the FBI, intelligence community, and media not buried, would likely have cost Joe Biden the election. 

Democrats Demonize Barr and Brady

NBC News wasn’t alone in using the Smirnov indictment to bury the Biden-family scandal and cast Republicans as pushing a Russian disinformation campaign. Late last week, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerry Nadler penned a 15-page letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, requesting an investigation of former U.S. Attorney Scott Brady and seeking an inquiry of former Attorney General William Barr’s tasking of Brady to screen information related to Ukraine.

In early 2020, Barr had directed Brady to vet information connected to Ukraine. Barr has explained multiple times that this was to prevent misinformation from interfering in the various ongoing investigations related to Ukraine. Thus, Barr directed Brady’s team to act as a clearinghouse to screen material related to the embattled country.

As part of that assignment, Brady’s team requested the FBI search its databases for keywords connected to evidence Rudy Giuliani had presented to Brady’s Pittsburgh team. That search revealed a CHS had mentioned, in passing, Hunter Biden’s connection to Burisma. Brady requested the FBI re-interview the CHS to learn the significance (or insignificance) of that passing reference. The FBI’s handler reinterviewed the CHS — now known to be Smirnov — in June 2020, with the handler summarizing the content of that interview in the FD-1023.

As part of the House’s impeachment inquiry, on Oct. 23, 2023, the Judiciary Committee conducted a transcribed interview of Brady. According to Nadler’s letter, during his interview, “Brady repeatedly testified that he had vetted and found credible statements made by a confidential human source (CHS), now identified as Alexander Smirnov.”

“Of course, on February 14, 2024, a federal grand jury in the Central District of California indicted Alexander Smirnov for making a false statement to the FBI and creating a false and fictitious record,” Nadler added.

Nadler then accused Brady of lying to the committee, saying, “[I]t seems unlikely that Mr. Brady actually verified any of the information Mr. Smirnov provided to the FBI,” and that “Mr. Brady’s testimony to the contrary does not appear to be a mere misstatement — his comments were deliberate, repeated, and detailed.” 

To support his accusations, Nadler selectively quoted from a transcript of Brady’s testimony and inaccurately paraphrased other testimony. The Federalist has reviewed the entire transcript, and not only does it prove Nadler’s accusations are fraudulent, it confirms the idiocy of the idea that Smirnov was part of some Russian disinformation op to interfere in our elections.

First, in his testimony, Brady made clear that he had not concluded Smirnov was credible — rather that was the FBI’s conclusion. In fact, at one point, Rep. Jim Jordan asked the former U.S. attorney whether he had “reached the same conclusion that the FBI did that this individual was credible.” In response, Brady stressed that his team had never made a finding on the CHS’s credibility, but rather “relied on the FBI’s assessment of the credibility of the CHS as a trusted source.”

“I didn’t have any independent knowledge of that,” nor did his office make a representation of the CHS’s credibility, Brady explained.

Second, Brady testified that as part of Pittsburgh’s briefing of Delaware on the results of their screening assignment, his team detailed the investigative steps they had taken. Brady stressed to the House committee that they were limited in an “ability to corroborate the information that the CHS had provided us” because they lacked the authority to use a grand jury to compel testimony or the production of records. Rather, Brady’s team was limited to open-source resources and obtaining information from the FBI and intelligence services to screen material, including the FD-1023.

Barr confirmed to The Federalist that in assigning Brady the task of screening material related to Ukraine, he had not authorized the use of a grand jury but allowed for coordination with intelligence services — precisely as Brady had testified. 

With those limited resources, Brady explained that his team “interfaced with the CHS’ handler about certain statements relating to travel and meetings to see if they were consistent with his or her understanding.”

“What we were able to identify, we found that it was consistent,” Brady confirmed. The former U.S. attorney also testified that “the 1023, the CHS, was vetted against known sources of Russian disinformation,” and through interactions with the Eastern District of New York, Brady’s team “found that it was not sourced from Russian disinformation.” Coupled with the fact the FBI had used the CHS for years and believed him to be a highly credible asset, the Pittsburgh U.S. attorney’s office concluded that “the 1023 had indicia of credibility sufficient to merit further investigation, which is what Delaware was told,” Brady testified.

The transcript of Brady’s testimony confirms Nadler is lying to the American public about what the former U.S. attorney told the House Judiciary Committee. That, however, was the lesser of Nadler’s two deceptions: In his letter last week, the New York congressman accused Brady — and Barr — of being part of “a deliberate attempt to launder foreign disinformation through the Department of Justice.” 

To support that theory, Nadler wrote: “Mr. Brady stated that he directed the FBI to conduct the June 2020 interview with Mr. Smirnov, who is alleged to have ties to Russian intelligence, despite reluctance from FBI agents handling the matter.”

From Nadler’s telling, one would think the FBI agents opposed further questioning of Smirnov because they suspected he was a Russian agent or was peddling Russian disinformation. However, the truth was the exact opposite: The FBI’s reluctance, as Brady told the House Judiciary Committee, stemmed from “the fact that this was an important confidential human source who had provided information to them in the past, that had been used in other investigations. So, it was an important CHS to them.” The FBI was being “very protective of their CHS” and “trying to protect him as a source so that they could continue to use him,” Brady reiterated in his testimony.

Weiss’s indictment and later court filings in the criminal case against Smirnov confirm the FBI continued to use him as a CHS. And from the summary of Smirnov’s various reportings to his handler, the CHS had high-level contacts with Russians, which would understandably make him an important source. 

The idea that Brady, who actually prosecuted the GRU, was trying to launder foreign disinformation is even more laughable given what he did with the FD-1023. He didn’t leak it to the press but instead provided it to Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss’s office with the recommendation that it be further investigated.

The Real Bad Guys

Had Weiss’s team followed Brady’s recommendation, the FD-1023 never would have seen the light of day because investigators would have discovered the same inconsistencies his special counsel team belatedly discovered three years later. And our FBI wouldn’t have continued to use a supposedly Russian-compromised CHS for three more years. 

To argue the charges against Smirnov somehow provide evidence that Brady and Barr were pushing Russian disinformation, or that the indictment converts the authenticated Hunter Biden laptop into Russian disinformation, isn’t just inexplicable — it is insane.

Or maybe it’s not. As the saying goes, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. For the Democrats, repeating the Russia hoaxes works. They achieve precisely the result they want — an American public distracted from the disasters of their policies and convinced that Democrats’ own scandals justify the prosecution or impeachment of Republicans.

It is Republicans who continue to expect a different result from the same trifecta of restrained prosecution, congressional investigations, and conservative media coverage.

No more. The only sane thing left to do is go scorched-earth.

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