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Old 06-05-21, 12:35   #1
 
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Movies FBI Informant Who LIED About The Bidens Had Contact With Russian Intelligence

FBI Raid Exposes Giuliani and Signals Widening Criminal Search, Experts Say

High-profile nature of search highlights inquiry’s seriousness and suggests officials may have new Ukraine-related leads to follow

Irish Central / The Guardian UK, 6 May 2021



The extraordinary FBI raid on Rudy Giuliani’s New York apartment and office has sparked debate about what criminal charges Giuliani may face, and signals a widening criminal investigation into his Ukraine drive to help Trump in 2020 by sullying Joe Biden, former prosecutors say.

The high-profile nature of the raid meant it required senior Department of Justice signoff, and underscored the investigation’s seriousness and progress. It also obtained several of Giuliani’s electronic devices and thus may have harvested a rich trove of new evidence and leads for investigators to follow.

“A search warrant involving a lawyer is always a sensitive matter, and even more so when the lawyer was the president’s lawyer,” said Mary McCord, a former prosecutor who led the national security division at the DoJ at the end of the Obama administration until May 2017.

She added: “This would have needed approval at a very high level within the Department of Justice, which would not have been given absent very solid grounds. And department lawyers would have thought through legal issues like the expected assertions of privilege.”

Ex-prosecutors and lawyers note that Giuliani seemed to rely heavily on several controversial Ukrainian officials, including a politician linked to Russian disinformation in his drive to dig up dirt on Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who had ties to a Ukraine energy firm, to boost Trump. They also point out Giuliani played a key part in ousting the US ambassador in Kiev, suggesting the probe could be looking at whether Giuliani broke multiple laws.

Several outlets have reported that Giuliani is being investigated to determine if he broke the Foreign Agents Registration Act, requiring people who lobby the US government on behalf of foreign officials to disclose that to the justice department. The inquiry is reportedly focused on Giuliani’s role in Trump’s firing of ambassador Marie Yovanovitch in May 2019, a move that Giuliani and two close associates – indicted earlier on charges of campaign finance violations – pushed, and a central issue in Trump’s first impeachment.

The criminal inquiry into Giuliani, an ex-New York mayor and former federal prosecutor, grows out of one that in 2019 charged Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, two Soviet-born Giuliani associates who were heavily involved in his Ukraine projects, with illegal campaign donations from a foreign source. Parnas and Fruman are slated for trial in October.

Among the 2019 charges against Parnas and Fruman were several alleged illegal donations, including a $325,000 check to a pro-Trump Super Pac. In 2020, a second indictment charged Parnas and another associate, David Correia, with running a sham company called Fraud Guarantee, which was aimed ostensibly at protecting investors against corporate fraud, but allegedly bilked its investors out of $2m, and paid $500,000 to Giuliani for legal and technical advice. Correia pleaded guilty late last year and has been sentenced to a year in jail.

According to the 2020 indictment, a Long Island backer of Trump loaned the $500,000 to Fraud Guarantee for Giuliani’s services in 2018, the year that Giuliani began working as Trump’s personal lawyer.

Reuters has reported that the search warrant authorizing the raid, which seized over 10 cellphones and computers, was seeking information about Giuliani’s communications with more than a dozen individuals, including ex-Ukrainian prosecutors and political figures, and trying to learn of contacts he had with US officials about Yovanovitch.

Former prosecutors say the warrant’s details suggest some potential charges against Giuliani.

“It’s a very aggressive tactic to seek an attorney search warrant,” said Michael Zeldin, a former federal prosecutor. “The warrant lists a who’s who of Ukrainian officials with whom Giuliani is believed to have been working in 2019-20. The fact that a judge issued the warrant despite the high bar for obtaining one, would seem to indicate that Giuliani is at least a subject of what appears to include violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (Fara).”

Giuliani has denied lobbying for any foreign officials. In a post-raid statement, he said his “conduct as a lawyer and a citizen was absolutely legal and ethical” and Monday he told Fox News federal investigators are “trying to frame him”.

Likewise, Giuliani attorney Robert Costello has called the raids “legal thuggery”, noting that Giuliani offered twice to answer prosecutors’ questions – except ones involving privileged talks with Trump – and was rebuffed. Costello, who did not return several calls seeking comment, has indicated that attorney-client privilege issues will figure in Giuliani’s defense.

Despite Giuliani’s adamant denials, DoJ veterans say the search warrant underscores the inquiry’s progress and multiple directions. “The search warrant could be a microcosm leading to several potential charges, including violations of Fara,” said Paul Pelletier, a former acting chief of DoJ’s fraud section. “And following the money could open up a pandora’s box of possible charges against Giuliani and his associates.”

Other recent FBI moves suggest the Giuliani probe may be wider than Fara issues.

The FBI also seized electronic devices from the home of Victoria Toensing, a conservative DC lawyer and Giuliani ally, who with her lawyer husband Joe diGenova represented a wealthy Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash fighting extradition to the US for several years on complex charges he violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act which bars bribes to win business.

Firtash, who had a $1m contract with the two Washington lawyers for a year, reportedly played a role through associates in assisting Giuliani’s Ukraine search for Biden dirt. Toensing has indicated she was informed she is not a target in the federal inquiry.

Phil Halpern, a recently retired federal prosecutor who spent 36 years dealing with corruption and campaign finance cases, said Giuliani’s Ukraine political work “exposes him to a veritable potpourri of different federal offenses”.

“His efforts to assist the Trump campaign directly – and through his indicted associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman – could be viewed as illegal campaign finance violations as they were never recorded in any campaign finance disclosures.” Further, the $500,000 payment Giuliani received from Parnas and Fruman “could be seen as part of a wider bribery or money-laundering conspiracy”.

With complex legal battles looming, Giuliani has been getting advice from Alan Dershowitz, the Harvard law professor emeritus who helped represent Trump during his first impeachment, and recently has launched high-decibel media attacks on the raid.

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Old 08-12-23, 04:58   #2
 
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Movies Hunter Bidens' Tax Evasion- Nine New Criminal Charges

Hunter Bidens' Tax Evasion Charges - Nine New Criminal Charges

The charges are down to 'two brave whistleblowers' and that his probe will prove Joe Biden knew of Hunters' 'fraud schemes' and DOJ is protecting 'the big guy' and his son


DailyMail 8 DEC 2023







The Department of Justice has filed new criminal charges against Hunter Biden


Rep. James Comer released a statement calling Hunter Biden's tax evasion whistleblowers 'brave' and then accused the President's DOJ of protecting 'the big guy'.

Comer's statement comes after it was revealed that the Department of Justice filed nine new criminal charges against U.S. President Joe Biden's son, Hunter, in California.

All nine charges relate to tax, including two felony charges for filing a false return, a felony charge for tax evasion, four failure to pay charges, and a further two charges for failure to file. The charges span the 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 tax years.

'Two brave IRS whistleblowers, Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, placed their careers on the line to blow the whistle on misconduct and politicization in the Hunter Biden criminal investigation,' Comer said on Thursday.

'The Department of Justice got caught in its attempt to give Hunter Biden an unprecedented sweetheart plea deal,' the Republican congressman continued.

'Today's charges filed against Hunter Biden are the result of Mr. Shapley and Mr. Ziegler's efforts to ensure all Americans are treated equally under the law,' the Kentucky Representative added in his statement.

'Every American should applaud these men for their courage to expose the truth.


Nine new criminal charges were filed against Hunter Biden in California on Thursday

They include:
- Two felony charges for filing a false return in 2018, both for Hunter Biden personally and for his company Owasco
- One felony charge for tax evasion in 2018
- Four failure to pay charges for tax years 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019
- Two charges for failure to file for 2017 and 2018





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Old 16-02-24, 06:46   #3
 
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Movies re: FBI Informant Who LIED About The Bidens Had Contact With Russian Intelligence

FBI Informant Charged With Lying About The Bidens Role in Ukraine Business

Alexander Smirnov Falsely Said Executives Linked to Energy Firm Burisma Paid Joe and Hunter Biden $5m Each in 2015 and 2016 = NO Tax Evasion

Special counsel David Weiss charged former FBI informant Alexander Smirnov with lying about President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Bidens’ involvement in business dealings with Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings, undercutting a major aspect of Republicans’ impeachment inquiry into the president.


The Guardian 16 FEB 2024








An FBI informant has been charged with lying to his handler about ties between Joe Biden, his son Hunter and a Ukrainian energy company.




Alexander Smirnov falsely told FBI agents in June 2020 that executives associated with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma paid Hunter and Joe Biden $5m each in 2015 and 2016, prosecutors said on Thursday.


Smirnov told the FBI that a Burisma executive had claimed to have hired Hunter Biden to “protect us, through his dad, from all kinds of problems”, prosecutors said in a statement.

The allegations became a flashpoint in Congress over the summer as Republicans demanded the FBI release the unredacted form documenting the allegations as they pursued investigations of Biden and his family. They acknowledged at the time that it was unclear if the allegations were true.

The new development sharply undermines the thrust of congressional Republicans’ corruption accusations that the US president was making money from his son Hunter’s business dealings in Ukraine.

Smirnov, 43, was charged with making a false statement and creating a false and fictitious record. No attorney was immediately listed for him in court records.

Smirnov appeared in court in Las Vegas briefly on Thursday after being charged with making a false statement and creating a false and fictitious record. He did not enter a plea. The judge ordered the courtroom cleared after federal public defender Margaret Wightman Lambrose requested a closed hearing for arguments about sealing court documents. She declined to comment on the case.

The charges were filed by the justice department special counsel David Weiss, who has separately charged Hunter with firearm and tax violations.

Hunters’ legal team did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

The informants’ claims have been central to the Republican effort in Congress to investigate the president and his family, and helped spark what is now a House impeachment inquiry into Biden.

Prosecutors say Smirnov had contact with Burisma executives, but it was routine and actually took place in 2017, after Barack Obama, the US president, and Biden, his vice-president, had left office – when Biden would have had no ability to influence US policy.


Smirnov “transformed his routine and unextraordinary business contacts with Burisma in 2017 and later into bribery allegations against public official 1, the presumptive nominee of one of the two major political parties for president, after expressing bias against public official 1 and his candidacy,” the indictment said.

He repeated some of the false claims when he was interviewed by FBI agents in September last year and changed his story about others and “promoted a new false narrative after he said he met with Russian officials”, prosecutors said.


If convicted, Smirnov faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison.


The House oversight committee chairman James Comer, a Republican representing Kentucky, had subpoenaed the FBI last year for the so-called FD-1023 document as Republicans deepened their inquiries into the US president and Hunter ahead of the 2024 presidential election.

Working alongside Comer, the Republican senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa released an unclassified document that Republicans at the time claimed was significant in their investigation of Hunter.





It added to information that had been widely aired during Donald Trumps’ first impeachment trial involving Trump attorney Rudy Giulianis’ efforts to dig up dirt on the Bidens ahead of the 2020 election.


The White House said at the time that the claims had been debunked for years.





The impeachment inquiry into Biden over his sons’ business dealings has lagged in the House, but the panel is pushing ahead with its work. Hunter is expected to appear before the committee later this month for an interview.





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Old 21-02-24, 09:51   #4
 
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Movies Re: FBI Informant Who LIED About The Bidens Had Contact With Russian Intelligence

FBI Informant Who Lied About Bidens’ Ukraine Ties Had Contact With Russians


Prosecutors reveal alleged ties to Russian intelligence-affiliated persons to urge US judge to deny Alexander Smirnovs’ release

Hunter Biden says special counsel used Alexander Smirnovs’ discredited bribery claims to derail his plea deal

The Guardian 21 FEB 2024






A former FBI informant charged with making up a multimillion-dollar bribery scheme involving Joe Biden, his son Hunter and a Ukrainian energy company had contacts with officials affiliated with Russian intelligence, prosecutors said in a court paper on Tuesday.





Hunter Bidens’ lawyers accused special counsel David Weiss on Tuesday of using a since-discredited bribery allegation from an FBI informant to blow up his plea deal last year.


Prosecutors revealed the alleged contact as they urged a judge to keep Alexander Smirnov behind bars while he awaits trial. He’s charged with falsely reporting to the FBI in June 2020 that executives associated with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma paid Hunter and the president $5m each in 2015 or 2016. The claim has been central to the Republican impeachment inquiry in Congress.


Smirnov is due in court later Tuesday in Las Vegas. He has been in custody at a facility in rural Pahrump, about an hour west of Las Vegas, since his arrest last week at the airport while returning from overseas.

David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld, the defense attorneys, said in a statement ahead of the hearing that they were asking for Smirnov’s release while he awaits trial “so he can effectively fight the power of the government”.

Prosecutors said that during an interview before his arrest last week, Smirnov admitted that “officials associated with Russian intelligence were involved in passing a story” about Hunter. They said Smirnov’s contacts with Russian officials were recent and extensive and said Smirnov had planned to meet with one official during an upcoming overseas trip.

They said Smirnov has had numerous contacts with a person he described as the “son of a former high-ranking government official” and “someone with ties to a particular Russian intelligence service”. They said there is a serious risk that Smirnov could flee overseas to avoid facing trial.

The White House didn’t immediately comment on the claims in Tuesday’s court filing.

Prosecutors say Smirnov, who holds dual US-Israeli citizenship, falsely reported to the FBI in June 2020 that executives associated with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma paid Hunter and Joe Biden $5m each in 2015 or 2016.

Smirnov in fact had only routine business dealings with the company starting in 2017 and made the bribery allegations after he “expressed bias” against Joe Biden while he was a presidential candidate, prosecutors said in court documents. He is charged with making a false statement and creating a false and fictitious record. The charges were filed in Los Angeles, where he lived for 16 years before relocating to Las Vegas two years ago.


Smirnovs’ claims have been central to the Republican effort in Congress to investigate the president and his family, and helped spark what is now a House impeachment inquiry into Biden. Democrats called for an end to the investigation after the indictment came down last week, while Republicans distanced the inquiry from Smirnovs’ claims and said they would continue to “follow the facts”.

Hunter is expected to give a deposition next week.



The Burisma allegations became a flashpoint in Congress as Republicans pursuing investigations of the president and his family demanded the FBI release the un-redacted form documenting the allegations. They acknowledged they couldn’t confirm if the allegations were true.








UPDATE: Hunter Biden






In a court filing Tuesday, attorneys for the presidents’ son asked a judge to force Weiss’ team to turn over additional information about the plea deal that went awry, and to provide materials about their discussions regarding a tip from by Alexander Smirnov, a 43-year-old former informant who was indicted for lying to the FBI about the Bidens’ alleged business dealings.


Smirnov appeared in a Nevada federal court Tuesday afternoon, where a judge ruled that he be released while he awaits trial. The release was granted with several conditions, including that Smirnov be subject to GPS monitoring and surrender his passports.


Weiss’ team wrote last week in Smirnov’s indictment that he falsely told his FBI handler in 2020 that President Joe Biden and his son each took $5 million in bribes from the Ukrainian energy company Burisma. The FBI investigated Smirnov’s allegations at the time, his indictment says, and recommended the probe into his claims be closed in August of that year.

Prosecutors continued their investigation of Smirnovs’ claims into 2023, the indictment says.

“The discussion about the scope of the immunity agreement appears shaped by the prosecution’s investigation of the Smirnov allegations, which it began looking into just days before the July 26, 2023 hearing,” Hunter Biden’s lawyers alleged in their filing, referring to their client’s botched plea deal.


“It now seems clear that the Smirnov allegations infected this case,” they wrote, adding that prosecutors followed Smirnov down a “rabbit hole of lies” and “having taken Mr. Smirnovs’ bait of grand, sensational charges, the Diversion Agreement that had just been entered into and Plea Agreement that was on the verge of being finalized suddenly became inconvenient for the prosecution, and it reversed course and repudiated those Agreements.”

The case will continue on 27 March
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