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February 21, 2024 11:49 AM UTC

Deja Vu All Over Again: Russian Disinformation Drives Biden Impeachment

  • by: Colorado Pols
Portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Colorado Capitol in 2018.

As CNN reports–for a party that considers itself the defenders of American sovereignty against evil foreign influences on all sides, the Republican Party sure seems to wind up doing the bidding of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service an awful lot. We’re not talking today about the 2016 presidential elections, in which Russian intelligence played a role in dividing the Democratic Party to help Donald Trump, but a key “witness” in the impeachment inquiry mounted by House Republicans last year against President Joe Biden who just admitted to spreading false claims originating with…Russian intelligence:

The former FBI informant charged with lying about the Bidens’ dealings in Ukraine told investigators after his arrest that Russian intelligence officials were involved in passing information to him about Hunter Biden, prosecutors said Tuesday in a new court filing, noting that the information was false.

Prosecutors also said Alexander Smirnov has been “actively peddling new lies that could impact US elections” after meeting with Russian spies late last year and that the fallout from his previous false bribery accusations about the Bidens “continue[s] to be felt to this day.”

Smirnov claims to have “extensive and extremely recent” contacts with foreign intelligence officials, prosecutors said in the filing. They said he previously told the FBI that he has longstanding and extensive contacts with Russian spies, including individuals he said were high-level intelligence officers or command Russian assassins abroad.

CBS News’ Robert Legare:

The defendant’s now-debunked claims in 2020 — including that the Ukrainian energy company Burisma hired Hunter Biden for protection “through his dad” and that Hunter and Mr. Biden were paid millions by the company — were memorialized in an FBI document known as an FD 1023.

That document and the claims within it that federal prosecutors now say are false have been central to congressional Republicans’ investigation of Mr. Biden and his son. [Pols emphasis] They have pointed to the document’s allegations of bribery as evidence of misdeeds.

The charges against Smirnov appear to blunt those claims as he is accused of “transform[img] his routine and unextraordinary business contacts with Burisma in 2017 and later into bribery allegations against” Hunter and Mr. Biden.

Learning that the key witness in the allegations against Biden was provided false information by Russian intelligence would in any normal political reality result in the swift wind-down of the impeachment inquiry that foreign intelligence disinformation underpinned. But if you really expected that or any other facts to get in the way of giving Donald Trump his vengeance, you don’t know Rep. Jim Jordan:

House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, denied the questionable nature of a key piece of evidence in his investigation of President Joe Biden when confronted by CNN reporter Manu Raju on Wednesday…

“You said the 1023 is the most corroborating piece of information you have,” Raju retorted, in reference to Smirnov’s initial assertions. Jordan claimed that the “fundamental facts” have not changed, in response, to which an incredulous Raju replied, “But it’s not true!”

Despite the pathological inability of Jim Jordan to admit even the smallest mistake, a character trait with a long and sordid history, the revelation that his most important evidence against Biden is the discredited product of Russian intelligence should be the death knell for the impeachment case against Biden–which it should be noted was already sputtering, with many Republicans skeptical even before this latest development.

No matter how much you’ve been taught to revile Joe Biden, and how badly you want Biden to suffer retribution for Trump’s two impeachments, no American–especially not high-ranking elected officials–should consent to be an agent of a foreign intelligence disinformation operation. Even if your party is the beneficiary of that operation. If anything, the aligned interests should give pause all by themselves. In a previous era, they might have.

Especially the second time around. Whatever Vladimir Putin says, Russia’s actions speak louder.


6 thoughts on “Deja Vu All Over Again: Russian Disinformation Drives Biden Impeachment

    1. Whatever money, or kompromat, Putin holds over Dumpy is quite staggering. Now he wants us all to just get along with Poot because he's really a nice guy and Russia is great. Nevermind attacking a sovereign country and killing thousands of innocent Ukrainians – get over it. These guys will twist themselves into pretzels for a dime, and it doesn't matter what principles they violate because they literally have none. All of this has to do with Trump's own benefit, and nothing with America except achieving the exact opposite of our interests, but magats can't, or won't, open their eyes.

      1. Agreed. This is way, way beyond the "water sports" video. Knowing Trump's transactional personality, I'm guessing it's more financial. (The piss video could have been denounced by Orange Caligula as a deep fake a la denouncing the Access Hollywood tape as locker room banter.)

        Not only does Putin have Trump's cojones in a vise but he got a growing number of GOP House and Senate members. 

  1. Republicans have two choices: A) Yes, we knowingly used Russian disinformation to harm the United States. B) We’re too incompetent and stupid to recognize Russian disinformation. Either one reveals they engaged in treason.

    During some IC briefing they had to have been told something about do not trust the guy.  The last way of stopping the idiocy was to arrest the russian.  He even said it was easy to feed garbage to the GOP.  Even the name was a giveaway.

    1. Choice C:  Double down on everything they've been spewing to date and hope to ride out the shit storm to come. After all, the base will stay with them.

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