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Former FBI informant charged with lying about Bidens to remain jailed: Judge

The FBI informant indicted earlier this month for making false statements about President Biden and his son will remain jailed, a federal judge ruled Monday.

The Associated Press (AP) reported that District Judge Otis D. Wright reversed an earlier order from Magistrate Judge Daniel J. Albregts in the District of Nevada that released Alexander Smirnov from detention. Wright ruled he must remain jailed while he awaits trial on Monday.

“There is nothing garden variety about this case,” Wright said ahead of announcing his decision, according to AP. “I have not changed my mind. This man will be remanded pending trial.”

Federal prosecutors raised concerns that Smirnov was planning to flee because he previously made plans to travel outside the U.S. to meet with “multiple foreign intelligence agencies” who were capable of relocating him. Wright wrote in a separate Friday order that Smirnov’s legal team’s arguments for his release were “likely to facilitate his absconding from the United States.”

Smirnov was first arrested on Feb. 14 and indicted for making false statements to the FBI in relation to his testimony about Hunter Biden. He had previously told the law enforcement agency that both the president and his son received $5 million bribes from the head of the Ukrainian energy firm Burisma — a claim at the center of the ongoing House GOP probe into the Biden family.

His arrest raised questions around the validity of other claims in the House GOP’s investigation, but House Oversight Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) has maintained that Smirnov was not “an important part” of their investigation.

Smirnov was later released from custody following Albregts’s ruling but was rearrested last week after prosecutors appealed the judge’s ruling. In the prosecutors’ request to have him detained, they also said Smirnov received information from Russian intelligence.

Prosecutors claimed in their request to have Smirnov detained that he had access to more than $6 million in liquid funds that would allow him to “live comfortably” overseas for the remainder of his life.

The prosecutors said Smirnov did not disclose to Pretrial Services that he had access to those funds, saying he claimed he only had $1,500 cash on hand and $5,000 in a personal checking account.

The Hill has reached out to Smirnov’s lawyers for comment.

The Associated Press contributed.

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