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Special counsel asks judge to send indicted ex-informant in Hunter Biden case back to jail

<i>CNN via CNN Newsource</i><br/>Alexander Smirnov (in the middle) leaving court in Las Vegas
CNN via CNN Newsource
Alexander Smirnov (in the middle) leaving court in Las Vegas

By Hannah Rabinowitz, CNN

(CNN) — Special counsel David Weiss asked a California judge Wednesday to send indicted ex-FBI informant Alexander Smirnov back to jail while he awaits trial.

A magistrate judge in Las Vegas released Smirnov on Tuesday, finding that even enough Smirnov posed a flight risk, he could be released under certain conditions. Those conditions include GPS monitoring, confiscating his two passports, and ordering him to remain in Nevada where he currently lives.

Prosecutors asked a federal judge in California to overturn that ruling in a new filing Wednesday, reasserting their concerns about Smirnov’s connections to foreign intelligence officials and his access to significant amounts of cash.

A hearing on the renewed detention motion has not been scheduled. Smirnov is charged with lying to the FBI about the Biden family’s dealings in Ukraine. He has not yet entered a formal plea, but his lawyers say he’s fighting the charges.

In the court filings, Weiss said that Smirnov repeatedly lied to his FBI handler, whom he worked with for more than a decade, and should not be trusted. He also has extensive contacts in Russia and elsewhere, they claimed, and lied to prosecutors about his “access to over $6 million in liquid funds — more than enough money for him to live comfortably overseas for the rest of his life.”

Smirnov’s lawyers have denied in court any assertion that their client would flee the country or otherwise try to escape prosecution.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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