Smirnov to Remain on Ice Until Trial

Ex-FBI informant Alexander Smirnov will remain in jail while he awaits trial, a federal judge in California ruled Monday.

Smirnov was the Republican Party’s so-called star witness in its attempt to impeach President Biden.

“I have not changed my mind,” District Judge Otis Wright said. “The defendant will be remanded pending trial.”

Judge Wright on Monday said that “there is nothing garden variety” about the criminal case involving Smirnov, who Wright says has a “habit or practice of making false statements.”

While a magistrate judge in Las Vegas ruled last week that Smirnov could leave jail with a GPS tether, Smirnov was re-arrested days later following a ruling by Wright in California. Wright said he authorized the re-arrest because he had learned Smirnov’s attorneys were possibly trying to help him leave the United States. Smirnov also had a significant number of foreign contacts and access to millions of dollars.

Smirnov’s attorneys attempted to keep him out of custody by putting forth a significant bond package, which included house arrest for Smirnov. This request was, however, denied. 

Defense attorneys also stated that “the suggestion that defense counsel is participating in an unlawful plot by advocating for release … is wrong.”

Prosecutor Leo Wise also revealed that Smirnov was arrested at his lawyers’ office because he has nine firearms in his house, including an “assault weapon,” and that law enforcement believed it would be safer to execute the arrest while he was not home.

Smirnov’s attorneys have appealed his detention to a higher court.


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