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STATEMENT: Congressional Integrity Project Calls for Immediate End to Impeachment Inquiry In Light of So-Called Whistleblower’s Felony Indictments

Feb 15, 2024

PRESS RELEASE         Contact:
For Immediate Release
Date: February 15, 2024

The Person Responsible for the Claims Leading to the Impeachment Inquiry Was Arrested for Felony False Statement and Obstruction Crimes. 

Washington, D.C. – Today, a federal court unsealed a two-count indictment of Alexander Smirnov, the so-called FBI whistleblower who accused President Biden and his son Hunter of corruption and bribery, for lying about his accusations about the President and his son. Smirnov’s initial accusations are the basis for James Comer and Jim Jordan’s impeachment inquiry into President Biden. 

In response, Congressional Integrity Project executive director, Kyle Herrig, issued the following statement: 

“The only course of action left is for the MAGA House Republicans to end their sham impeachment inquiry into the President and for James Comer, Jim Jordan, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Mike Johnson, and everyone else who voted for this farce to immediately, personally apologize to President Biden, his family, and the American people. This investigation   — that has turned up no evidence despite over a year of work — is based on nothing but lies. The house of cards has crumbled. It’s far past time for MAGA Republicans to admit it.” 

BACKGROUND: Bribery allegations made by Smirnov have NEVER been proven: 

In early-May, James Comer and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) published an open letter to the FBI announcing subpoenas for an unclassified document supposedly describing an alleged “criminal scheme involving then-Vice President Biden and a foreign national relating to the exchange of money for policy decisions.” Comer was immediately called out for pushing unsubstantiated allegations in the letter. The Associated Press noted, “the lawmakers used the word ‘alleged’ three times in the opening paragraph of the letter and offered no evidence of the veracity of the accusations.” HuffPost reporters concurred: “[Republicans] acknowledged they don’t know if the allegation will pan out. […] backing the allegation despite the scarcity of details.”

When Comer and Grassley obtained the document, form FD-1023, and publicly released a redacted version in July – against the advice of intelligence officials who feared it would “unnecessarily risks the safety of a confidential source” – it ended up being an uncorroborated FBI tip. Worse still, the owner of Ukrainian energy firm Burisma, had already rebutted the uncorroborated bribery allegations back in 2019: “As part of the impeachment inquiry against then-President Trump, Congress learned that Mr. Zlochevsky, the Ukrainian oligarch and the owner of Burisma, whom Republican Committee Members appear to have identified as the source of the allegations memorialized in the Form FD-1023, squarely rebutted these allegations in 2019.” In 2019, Rudy Giuliani and his associate Lev Parnas interviewed Burisma owner Mykola Zlochevsky. Not only did Zlochevsky flatly deny the allegations reported in the Form FD-1023, but Giuliani demanded the interview transcript be concealed, telling Parnas: “‘What is this shit? This is bullshit. Make sure nobody sees this. Bury this.’”  

In October 2023, House Republicans made yet another attempt to validate their already-debunked allegations about the Form FD-1023 by calling on U.S. attorney Scott Brady, a Trump-era investigator who spent eight months exhaustively assessing the allegations detailed in the Form FD-1023 only to close the case after finding insufficient evidence to warrant escalating the allegations to a preliminary or full investigation. Despite echoing Comer’s baseless claims about the Form during testimony, Brady freely admitted that he failed to assess the credibility of the source, and failed to learn that Giuliani’s team had interviewed Zlochevsky at all.