Jamie Raskin Calls Biden Impeachment Inquiry A ‘Product Of Russian Disinformation’ | EUROtoday

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WASHINGTON — Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) mentioned that House Republicans’ impeachment inquiry in opposition to President Joe Biden is a product of Russian propaganda.

The Justice Department revealed Tuesday that Alexander Smirnov, an FBI informant who’s charged with making up a bribery allegation in opposition to Biden, might have ties to Russian intelligence sources.

“It appears like the whole thing is not only obviously false and fraudulent, but a product of Russian disinformation and propaganda,” Raskin, the highest Democrat on the House oversight committee, informed reporters Wednesday.

In a Tuesday courtroom submitting urging a decide to maintain Smirnov in jail forward of his trial, the Justice Department mentioned Tuesday that he “claims to have contacts with multiple foreign intelligence agencies” and that these businesses “could resettle Smirnov outside the United States if he were released.”

The temporary mentioned that “law enforcement knows about Smirnov’s contact with officials affiliated with Russian intelligence” as a result of Smirnov had offered details about them, together with pictures and paperwork, to his FBI handler earlier than the company caught on to his made-up bribery allegation about Biden final fall.

It’s not clear if the Justice Department has independently confirmed Smirnov’s ties with Russian intelligence. Spokespeople declined to remark.

Smirnov had served as an FBI supply for years, incomes hundreds of {dollars} for his suggestions, Justice Department officers informed lawmakers throughout a personal briefing final yr, including that they thought of him extremely credible. Republicans obtained and launched an FBI file describing Smirnov’s account of the top of Burisma, a Ukrainian gasoline firm that employed the president’s son on its board, saying that he’d paid each Joe and Hunter Biden $5 million in bribes.

After Republicans launched the file, the FBI requested U.S. Attorney David Weiss, the particular counsel prosecutor main a felony case in opposition to Hunter Biden, to look into Smirnov’s declare. Investigators discovered journey information and different particulars that didn’t match his story. He was arrested final week and charged with making false statements.

A decide rebuffed the federal government’s request to detain him earlier than his trial, nonetheless. But the federal government’s sentencing memo, with its allegations that Smirnov has contacts with Russian intelligence, was one other blow to an impeachment inquiry that has already struggled to search out excessive crimes and misdemeanors by Joe Biden.

“The impeachment investigation essentially ended yesterday, in substance if not in form, with the explosive revelation that Mr. Smirnov’s allegations about Ukrainian Burisma payments to Joe Biden were concocted along with Russian intelligence agents,” Raskin mentioned.

A spokesperson for Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), who chairs the House oversight committee, mentioned that Biden household financial institution information the committee has obtained via subpoenas usually are not Russian disinformation.

“The House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry is based on a large record of evidence, including bank records and witness testimony, revealing that Joe Biden knew of and participated in his family’s business dealings,” the spokesperson mentioned.

“Witnesses have confirmed Joe Biden was the brand being sold by the Bidens around the world. President Biden continues to lie to the American people about this matter and the American people demand the truth and accountability for any wrongdoing.”

Republicans have claimed that witness testimony exhibits Joe Biden participated in his son’s enterprise as a result of enterprise associates have testified that on a number of events Joe Biden greeted and exchanged pleasantries with them, similar to when Hunter Biden would put his father on speakerphone of their firm. No witness has mentioned that Joe Biden truly talked about enterprise with them, nonetheless.

The most critical allegation Republicans have pursued is that Joe Biden, as vice chairman in 2015, made Ukraine fireplace a prosecutor as a result of he was investigating Burisma. State Department officers have repeatedly mentioned that the allegation is unfaithful; the supposed bribe introduced the declare new life final yr, however now it’s lifeless. And Republicans have deleted mentions of it from their letters requesting interviews.

The impeachment committees held a transcribed interview with the president’s brother James Biden, who informed them that he by no means requested his sibling for official favors or assist along with his work. Hunter Biden will sit for a deposition subsequent week.

“I found it interesting. I kind of want to wait and see the transcript,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the House Judiciary Committee chair and one of many leaders of the impeachment inquiry, informed HuffPost after leaving the interview with James Biden.

Jordan mentioned that the implosion of the FBI informant’s bribery declare didn’t change the information of the case.

Raskin mentioned that the temper within the room for James Biden’s interview was subdued.

“It feels to me as if everyone knows the impeachment investigation is over,” Raskin mentioned.