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Ex-FBI informant charged with lying about the Bidens is re-arrested as prosecutors fight to keep him behind bars

<i>CNN via CNN Newsource</i><br/>Alexander Smirnov
CNN via CNN Newsource
Alexander Smirnov

By Hannah Rabinowitz, CNN

(CNN) — Alexander Smirnov, the former FBI informant indicted for lying about President Joe Biden’s family and their alleged dealings in Ukraine, has been re-arrested in Nevada.

Though prosecutors fought to keep him behind bars, Smirnov was released by Magistrate Judge Daniel Albregts in Nevada on Tuesday with several conditions, including GPS monitoring and the surrender of his two passports.

Prosecutors asked the Nevada judge to delay his release, but the judge declined and Smirnov was allowed to walk out.

Now, Smirnov’s defense lawyers say their client was re-arrested Thursday on a new warrant for the exact same charges – this time signed by federal district Judge Otis Wright, who will oversee the criminal case out of California.

“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 set forth … while at the undersigned counsel’s law office for meetings with counsel,” his lawyers wrote in a court filing.

The unusual move means that Smirnov will need to argue for his release once again. Prosecutors had already moved for a rehearing on the matter in front of the judge in California, reasserting their concerns about Smirnov’s connections to foreign intelligence officials and his access to significant amounts of cash.

A spokesperson for special counsel David Weiss, who is prosecuting the case, confirmed Smirnov’s arrest.

Prosecutors allege 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, prosecutors said, and lied to authorities 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 has not yet entered a plea.

Prosecutors also filed several sealed documents on the court docket in California on Thursday. The content of those documents are not yet known.

Smirnov’s lawyers have denied in court any assertion that their client would flee the country or otherwise try to escape prosecution. They said in their filing Thursday that Smirnov “has remained fully compliant with his conditions of release since his court-ordered release,” and slammed prosecutors for requesting a rehearing in California with “no mention of any second, then-unserved arrest warrant for Mr. Smirnov based on the same charges.”

His attorneys asked for an emergency hearing in front of the chief judge of the district of Nevada.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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