A now-indicted FBI informant was at the 'heart' of the GOP's case against Joe Biden

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WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans put a defiant face on Friday after the revelation that an FBI informant — the man whose allegations were at the “heart” of their case against President Joe Biden, as one leading House Republican recently said — had been indicted for lying to the bureau about the president and his son Hunter Biden for political purposes.

Alexander Smirnov, a 43-year-old FBI informant who began working with the bureau in 2010, faces two felony counts: one for making a false statement to a government agent and another for falsification of records in a federal investigation. Republicans in Congress had repeatedly touted those same false statements as a key piece of their impeachment inquiry into the president.

Smirnov, who has no lawyer listed on his court dockets, was arrested Thursday at the Las Vegas airport after disembarking from an international flight. The case against him will eventually proceed in a federal courthouse in California, but the initial proceedings will take place before federal Magistrate Judge Daniel J. Albregts in Nevada.

Congressional Republicans were quick to downplay the impact that the indictment would have on their ongoing impeachment inquiry, even though numerous leading Republicans had repeatedly pointed to bribery allegations against the Bidens that originated from Smirnov as a major linchpin of their investigation.