CNN Legal Analyst Breaks Down Just How ‘Unprecedented’ Burisma Source Rearrest Really Is

CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig described the rearrest of the FBI source, who asserted a Ukrainian energy company Burisma bribed Hunter and Joe Biden shortly after his release, as extraordinary.

Alexander Smirnov told agents that Burisma executives talked about paying Hunter Biden and Joe Biden $5 million each to leverage U.S. policy in Ukraine to the energy company’s benefit — was arrested again Thursday pursuant to the exact charges and indictment that led to his Feb. 14 arrest, according to a legal filing. Honig said he has never witnessed this before and questioned how the FBI could let this happen on “CNN This Morning.”


“Here‘s how unprecedented it is … I’ve never seen it happen this way and I just asked John Miller, who’s seen everything: Have you ever seen this? He said no, he hasn’t,” Honig said.

The government tried to secure pretrial detention for Smirnov after his first arrest because of his alleged potential to be a flight risk, but a federal judge ordered his release on certain conditions, according to legal filings. The Department of Justice (DOJ) alleged in its Feb. 14 indictment against Smirnov that he gave false statements to the FBI when he described Burisma executives paying off Joe and Hunter Biden.

The rearrest indicates that “prosecutors are absolutely terrified that this guy may take off,” Honig asserted. “This is a very extreme measure designed to try to get him in custody.”

“There are questions worth asking about how the FBI got burned so badly for sure,” Honig said. “But I mean, the allegations are pretty clear cut. They‘ll have to prove them in court now. But if you look at the documents around the case, it’s clear that this guy lied to the FBI … he said he was in meetings with people at times in places when he could not have possibly been in meetings with those people. They disproved what he said by looking at documentary evidence.”

The FBI had considered Smirnov to be a credible source for some time, but the DOJ alleges that he both lied to agents about the Biden bribery claims and was in contact with individuals linked to Russian intelligence, according to a Feb. 20 legal filing related to the indictment.

“But yes, it‘s a black eye for the FBI. Again, it happens but it‘s an embarrassment and especially when you have … a [confidential informant] who’s giving you very high profile information like this, you have to be extra careful, so I do think it‘s fair to ask the FBI, how did you let this go so far off the rails?” Honig concluded.

Republished with permission from The Daily Caller News Foundation.
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