The Daily Beast


After the credibility of House Republicans’ much-hyped FBI informant for their impeachment of President Joe Biden fell to pieces last week, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) dared to claim Wednesday that the person actually “wasn’t an important part of this investigation.”

On Newsmax, Comer tried to downplay the significance of Alexander Smirnov, who the Justice Department charged last week for lying to the FBI when he asserted that Biden received a $5 million bribe from a Ukrainian oligarch. According to the DOJ, Smirnov admitted after his arrest “that officials associated with Russian intelligence were involved in passing a story about” Biden’s son, Hunter, and a Ukrainian gas company he worked for.

In his appearance Wednesday night, Comer claimed that despite Smirnov being one of the “most trusted, highest paid informants with the bureau for over a decade,” he “wasn’t an important part of this investigation because I didn’t even know who he was. All I knew was there was a 1023 [form] that alleged bribery.”

Newsmax host Eric Bolling failed to probe Comer with the type of incisive questioning that CNN reporter Manu Raju had earlier in the day for Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), another vocal proponent of Smirnov’s disproven allegations. Instead, Comer was allowed to claim—without any resistance—that it’s actually Democrats who are “playing the ‘Russia’ card.”

“That’s what Dan Goldman has done,” Comer insisted after being shown a clip of the New York Democrat saying on CNN Tuesday that, if House Republicans continue to pursue an impeachment in light of Smirnov’s arrest, “they are simply doing the work of Vladimir Putin to help Donald Trump win an election in November.”

Comer’s comments on Newsmax are notable given the breathless hype that he and some other congressional Republicans gave to Smirnov.

“That to me is really the heart of this matter,” Comer said last month on Fox regarding Smirnov’s allegations. “The most corroborating evidence we have is the 1023 form from this highly credible confidential human source.”

House Democrats on the Judiciary Committee, in a post on X, also responded to Comer with a compilation aired by MSNBC of Comer, Jordan, Sen. Ted Cruz and others talking up the 1023 form, with Comer saying last May that it’s “a very crucial piece of our investigation.”

Such comments were unwise, one GOP colleague said on CNN Wednesday.

“We were warned that the credibility of this statement was not known, and yet my colleagues went out and talked to the public about how this was credible and damning,” Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) said on The Source. “It appears to absolutely be false and really undercuts the nature of the charges.”

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