Comer says indicted FBI informant 'wasn't an important part of this investigation'

House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) said Wednesday that indicted FBI informant Alexander Smirnov — whose claims against the Bidens gave fuel to the House GOP-led impeachment inquiry — was not “an important part” of their investigation into President Biden.

“At the end of the day, he wasn’t an important part of this investigation — because I didn’t even know who he was,” Comer said in a Wednesday interview on Newsmax. “All I knew was there was a 1023 [form] that alleged bribery.”

“My investigation’s about all the money the Bidens have taken from China, from Romania, from Kazakhstan,” Comer continued, referring to his efforts to connect President Biden to his family’s business dealings around the world.

“This guy had absolutely nothing to do with it. We got a tip, we investigated it. We couldn’t figure out who it was,” Comer said of Smirnov.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) indicted Smirnov last week on charges that he fed the FBI false information, including his now-discredited claim that then-Vice President Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, each accepted a $5 million bribe from the Ukrainian energy company Burisma. On Tuesday, the DOJ revealed in a court filing that Smirnov said “officials associated with Russian intelligence” were allegedly involved in fabricating the story about the Bidens.

The recent developments have delivered a serious blow to House Republicans, some of whom have pointed to Smirnov’s discredited claims about the Bidens as central to the corruption case House Republicans are trying to build against Biden.

Democrats responded to the Smirnov revelations largely by calling on House Republicans to end the investigation, which has not produced any evidence of wrongdoing or corruption on the part of President Biden. They have also not found evidence connecting Biden to his family’s business dealings — an area that has become a central focus of the impeachment probe.

“The impeachment investigation essentially ended yesterday, in substance if not in form, with the explosive revelation that Mr. Smirnov’s allegations about Ukrainian Burisma payments to Joe Biden were concocted along with Russian intelligence agents,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) told reporters Wednesday.

Rep. Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.) said on CNN on Wednesday he was particularly concerned that Russian intelligence sources were allegedly involved in the FBI informant’s now-disproven claims against the Bidens, saying, “Not only is there no evidence of any wrongdoing by President Biden, but it now appears as if the House Republican majority is being used by Russia to interfere in the 2024 election on behalf of Donald Trump.”

“If they continue with this investigation, they are simply doing the work of [Russian President Vladimir Putin] to help Donald Trump win an election in November. That’s where we are,” Goldman said on CNN. “It tells you the real danger that our Congress is in right now having been held captive by Donald Trump and now operating at the behest of Russian intelligence of Vladimir Putin.”

Comer responded to Goldman in the Newsmax interview on Wednesday, saying Democrats are “gonna play the Russia card again. Every time they get backed into a corner, they start playing the Russia card. And that’s what Dan Goldman’s done. That’s what Jamie Raskin’s done.”

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