Joe Biden Says Republicans Should Drop Impeachment Following FBI Bombshell

A bribery allegation against Biden collapsed this week after the Justice Department said one of its informants had lied.
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WASHINGTON ― President Joe Biden said Friday that Republicans should drop their impeachment inquiry against him after the Justice Department said an FBI informant made up a bribery allegation.

“He is lying and it should be dropped,” Biden said at brief White House press conference, in response to a question from a reporter.

“It’s been an outrageous effort from the beginning,” he added of the impeachment effort.

Since last year, Republicans have trumpeted unverified bribery accusations from an FBI informant who claimed to have heard them from a Ukrainian oligarch. But after the Justice Department announced it would be prosecuting the informant for allegedly fabricating the bribe rumors, Democrats called on Republicans to drop impeachment.

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the top Democrat on the House oversight committee, said the indictment “has demonstrated how key evidence at the heart of House Republicans’ impeachment inquiry is based on a lie.”

The informant, 43-year-old Alexander Smirnov, told his FBI handler in 2020 that the owner of Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company, said he’d paid $5 million bribes to both Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

The younger Biden served on Burisma’s board from 2014 to 2019, and Republicans have long claimed that when he was vice president, Biden forced out a Ukrainian prosecutor in order to benefit Burisma and his son. State Department officials have repeatedly debunked that allegation, but the bribe claim gave it new life last year.

House oversight committee chair James Comer (R-Ky.) said Thursday the impeachment inquiry would continue, and he said the FBI’s actions were “very concerning since they’d previously vouched for the informant.

On Friday, the House Judiciary Committee released the transcript of its interview last year with Scott Brady, a former U.S. attorney who oversaw the vetting of evidence related to the Bidens and Ukraine. Brady said the FBI received the allegation from Smirnov in June 2020 and found it credible enough to forward it to Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss, who was leading an investigation into Hunter Biden’s failure to pay taxes on his overseas income.

“We felt that there were sufficient indicia of credibility... to pass it on to an office that had a predicated grand jury investigation,” Brady said.

As the indictment explains, however, further investigation revealed that the travel and meetings Smirnov described didn’t match information obtained from other people mentioned in his account. He was arrested this week in Las Vegas.

Republicans have looked through thousands of pages of Hunter Biden’s bank records and not announced they’ve found the Ukrainian bribe money.

The White House has previously said Republicans should drop their impeachment inquiry, and it’s not the first time Biden has commented on the bribe allegation.

“Where’s the money?” Biden said last June, before adding: “I’m joking. It’s a bunch of malarkey.”

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