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'Smacks of impropriety': Feds rearrest FBI informant under 'bizarre circumstances' after judge ordered his release
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'Smacks of impropriety': Feds rearrest FBI informant under 'bizarre circumstances' after judge ordered his release

The FBI informant indicted for allegedly lying to the FBI about Biden family corruption was rearrested Thursday.

Special counsel David Weiss — who was appointed to investigate Hunter Biden — arrested Alexander Smirnov last week after securing a grand jury indictment on allegations that Smirnov lied to federal authorities when he told them Ukrainian energy company Burisma paid then-Vice President Joe Biden and Hunter Biden $5 million each in 2015 and/or 2016.

On Tuesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Daniel Albregts released Smirnov from custody with a GPS tracker and an order to surrender his U.S. and Israeli passports. Prosecutors then asked the court for a stay on the order, which Albregts denied.

Despite the judge's order, federal authorities rearrested Alexander Smirnov on Thursday while he was meeting with his lawyers in Las Vegas.

In a court filing asking the judge for immediate relief, attorney David Chesnoff described the "bizarre circumstances" of the incident.

Chesnoff explained:

On February 21, 2024, the Government filed an application to reopen the detention hearing in the underlying case. The Government's application makes no mention of any second, then-unserved arrest warrant for Mr. Smirnov based on the same charges.

Despite Judge Albregts's prior ruling, denial of the stay request, and Mr. Smirnov's prior release from custody, on the morning of February 22, 2024, Mr. Smirnov was arrested for a second time — on the same charges and based on the same indictment ... while at the undersigned counsel's law office for meetings with counsel.

The incident, Chesnoff asserted, is an "interference with [Smirnov's] cherished Sixth Amendment rights."

Chesnoff, moreover, alleged that authorities have usurped the court because the court already ordered Smirnov released and denied prosecutors' request for a stay on that order.

Late Thursday, Judge Albregts ordered the government to respond to Smirnov's lawyers' request for an immediate detention hearing by Friday afternoon.

Andrew Weissmann, the former top FBI official, explained why the situation "smacks of impropriety."

"Special Counsel Weiss is playing with fire here-he can appeal the Magistrate's decision to release Smirnov (and has done so), but arresting him on the same case the Magistrate released him on smacks of impropriety," Weissmann explained.

But the situation took a turn on Friday when Judge Otis Wright, a judge in the central district of California, revealed that he ordered Smirnov's rearrest and detention.

In his order, Wright accused Smirnov's attorneys of seeking their client's release "likely to facilitate [Smirnov's] absconding from the United States."

Smirnov's attorneys have denied that he is a flight risk. Chesnoff, for example, pointed to the fact that authorities found him at his attorneys' office when they rearrested him as evidence that he had no intention to flee.

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Chris Enloe

Chris Enloe

Staff Writer

Chris is a staff writer for Blaze News. He resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. You can reach him at cenloe@blazemedia.com.
@chrisenloe →