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Maria Bartiromo Accuses DOJ of ‘Intimidation’ for Indicting ‘Biden Bribery’ Source for Lying

Fox Business
Fox Business

Fox Business Network anchor Maria Bartiromo accused the Justice Department of “intimidation tactics” for indicting a confidential informant for lying to the FBI about President Joe Biden receiving millions of dollars in bribes from Ukrainian oligarchs.

Bartiromo, who has been a key booster of the GOP’s “Biden bribery scheme” allegations, also fumed that the arrested ex-informant was “incredibly trusted” yet the DOJ is now “taking this guy down,” suggesting the feds are trying to strike fear into Biden impeachment “whistleblowers.”

Special counsel David Weiss announced on Thursday that the Justice Department had indicted Alexander Smirnov with making a false statement and creating a false and fictitious record. The unsealed indictment revealed that Smirnov was the FBI informant who claimed the president had received a $5 million bribe from Burisma while his son Hunter served on the board of the Ukrainian gas company.

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During a 2020 interview with the FBI, which was memorialized in an “FD-1023,” Smirnov asserted that Burisma founder Mykola Zlochevsky had told him in 2016 about the alleged bribe to Joe Biden, who was vice president at the time. However, the indictment says this conversation couldn’t have happened because Smirnov “met with officials from Burisma for the first time in 2017, after [Biden] left office in January 2017.”

DOJ Accuses One of GOP’s Key Biden Impeachment Witnesses of Lying

While the DOJ now says Smirnov’s “story to the FBI was a fabrication,” the unverified allegations contained in the FD-1023 formed much of the basis behind Republicans’ push to impeach the president for supposedly benefitting from his family’s foreign business dealings. In fact, when then-Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced the launch of the House’s impeachment inquiry into Biden, he specifically mentioned the accusation made by Smirnov.

Fox News, meanwhile, breathlessly hyped the flimsy allegations for months to make the case that the president is the head of the “Biden crime family” and needs to be removed from office. Fox News star Sean Hannity, for instance, devoted 85 segments explicitly to the claim, including 28 opening monologues. The Washington Post estimates that the conservative cable giant mentioned the allegation over 2,500 times in the past year.

After the DOJ announced the bombshell indictment on Thursday afternoon, however, Hannity and the rest of the network’s pro-Trump primetime lineup completely ignored the news on Thursday night. Bartiromo, on the other hand, tackled the story on her Friday morning Fox Business program—and immediately pushed the narrative that the “Deep State” was trying to silence Smirnov.

The MAGA host started off by noting that House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY), who has long pushed the uncorroborated bribe allegations but has yet to provide any proof to substantiate them, is now insisting the “impeachment inquiry is not reliant on the FBI’s FD-1023.” She also aired a portion of a recent interview she had with Comer in which he claimed he had more than enough evidence and bank records to support impeaching Biden.

“Obviously, the Democrats and the White House I guess feel that if they take down Smirnov, the FBI informant who we were told for months was an incredibly trusted FBI informant, has been an informant for a long time, he’s trusted,” she said after airing the Comer clip. “He said that the Burisma executive told him you’ve got to give 5 million to one Biden and 5 million to another Biden, and now the DOJ is taking this guy down!”

After conservative pundit Joe Pinion agreed with the Fox anchor that the “FBI is a mess” and the “whole thing stinks to high heavens,” Bartiromo turned to fellow Fox Business host Cheryl Casone to grouse about the feds discrediting Smirnov and what it could mean for other potential Biden witnesses.

“The issue around this charge against Smirnov is that it may very well stop other whistleblowers from coming forward,” Bartiromo declared. “This is an intimidation tactic, threaten this guy with 25 years in prison because he told the Oversight Committee that Burisma paid Biden and Hunter—Joe Biden and Hunter Biden $5 million apiece. How will you get other whistleblowers to come out and say what they know?” (Smirnov doesn’t appear to have ever testified to the committee, but rather Comer and other Republicans touted his “credible” comments to the feds and then publicly released the FD-1023 over the FBI’s objections.)

While expressing “concern” about how the FBI handles its informants, Casone did note that in Smirnov’s case, the feds are claiming that he repeatedly changed his story and that’s why they “went back after him.” At the same time, she pointed out that Hunter Biden still faces a bevy of federal charges and will soon be deposed by Congress in the impeachment inquiry.“He’ll be on the hot seat in two weeks’ time,” Bartiromo concurred.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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