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Federal judge schedules April jury trial for ex-FBI informant Smirnov

By Hannah Rabinowitz, CNN

(CNN) — A California federal judge has scheduled a late April jury trial for the former FBI informant charged with lying about President Joe Biden’s family and their alleged dealings in Ukraine, according to the court docket.

The trial for Alexander Smirnov is scheduled to begin on April 23 in Los Angeles, just over two months after the ex-informant was first indicted.

Smirnov is charged with lying to his FBI handler and falsifying records. Prosecutors allege Smirnov falsely told his handler that a Ukrainian energy company paid $5 million each in bribes to Biden and his son Hunter. He has claimed to have gotten some of his dirt about the Bidens from Russian intelligence officials, according to court documents.

An April trial date hints at what could be a straightforward case for prosecutors, who must convince a jury that Smirnov knowingly made false statements about the Bidens to the FBI. It also means the case could be the first test of special counsel David Weiss’ prosecution team in court.

It also puts the case before a jury while the presidential primaries are still ongoing. Smirnov’s bribery allegations have been central to congressional Republicans’ efforts to impeach the president and a core tenant in their efforts to undercut the elder Biden’s integrity amid his reelection campaign. This comes as a matchup with former President Donald Trump in November continues to appear likely.

Smirnov has pleaded not guilty, and a judge on Monday ordered that he remain in jail while awaiting trial.

Special counsel Weiss has brought two criminal cases against Hunter Biden, neither of which are related to Smirnov or the alleged lies he told the FBI.

CNN’s Holmes Lybrand contributed to this report.

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