LAS VEGAS (AP) — A former FBI informant charged with making up a multimillion-dollar bribery scheme involving President Joe Biden, his son Hunter and a Ukrainian power firm had contacts with Russian intelligence-affiliated officers, prosecutors mentioned in a court docket paper Tuesday.

Prosecutors revealed the alleged contact as they urged a choose to maintain Alexander Smirnov behind bars whereas he awaits trial. He’s accused of falsely telling his handler that executives with the Ukrainian power firm Burisma paid Hunter and Joe Biden $5 million every round 2015. The declare turned central to the Republican impeachment inquiry in Congress.

U.S. Justice of the Peace Decide Daniel Albregts allowed Smirnov to be launched from custody on digital GPS monitoring whereas he awaits trial. He should keep in Clark County, Nevada, and is prohibited from making use of for a brand new passport.

Prosecutors mentioned Smirnov, 43, admitted throughout an interview after his arrest final week that “officials associated with Russian intelligence were involved in passing a story” about Hunter Biden. They mentioned Smirnov’s contacts with Russian officers had been latest and intensive, and mentioned Smirnov had deliberate to fulfill with one official throughout an upcoming abroad journey.

Smirnov has been in custody at a facility in rural Pahrump, about an hour’s drive west of Las Vegas, since his arrest final week on the airport whereas getting back from abroad.

Protection attorneys David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld mentioned in a press release they requested for Smirnov’s launch whereas he awaits trial “so he can effectively fight the power of the government.”

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 10: Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, departs a Home Oversight Committee assembly at Capitol Hill on January 10, 2024 in Washington, DC. (Photograph by Kent Nishimura/Getty Pictures)

Kent Nishimura by way of Getty Pictures

The White Home didn’t instantly touch upon the claims in Tuesday’s court docket submitting.

Prosecutors say Smirnov, who holds twin U.S.-Israeli citizenship, falsely reported to the FBI in June 2020 that executives related to the Ukrainian power firm Burisma paid Hunter and Joe Biden $5 million every in 2015 or 2016.

Smirnov in truth had solely routine enterprise dealings with the corporate beginning in 2017 and made the bribery allegations after he “expressed bias” towards Joe Biden whereas he was a presidential candidate, prosecutors mentioned in court docket paperwork. He’s charged with making a false assertion and making a false and fictitious report. The costs had been filed in Los Angeles, the place he lived for 16 years earlier than relocating to Las Vegas two years in the past.

Smirnov’s claims have been central to the Republican effort in Congress to research the president and his household, and helped spark what’s now a Home impeachment inquiry into Biden. Democrats known as for an finish to the probe after the indictment got here down final week, whereas Republicans distanced the inquiry from Smirnov’s claims and mentioned they’d proceed to “follow the facts.”

Hunter Biden is predicted to provide a deposition subsequent week.

The Burisma allegations turned a flashpoint in Congress as Republicans pursuing investigations of President Biden and his household demanded the FBI launch the unredacted type documenting the allegations. They acknowledged they couldn’t verify if the allegations had been true.

Whitehurst reported from Washington. Related Press author Alanna Durkin Richer in Boston contributed to this report.