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CNN’s Manu Raju Corners a Sputtering Jim Jordan Over Discredited FBI Informant

CNN
CNN

CNN made House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) squirm on Wednesday when a star correspondent confronted him for previously touting the discredited Biden bribery claims made up by indicted FBI informant Alexander Smirnov.

Jordan, who has been spearheading the GOP’s impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden, said just last month that Smirnov’s assertion that the president received a $5 million bribe from a Ukrainian oligarch was the “most corroborating evidence” Republicans had against Biden.

Last week, however, Smirnov was charged by the Justice Department for lying to the FBI when he made those bribery allegations, which were memorialized in an FD-1023 report. The DOJ later noted that after Smirnov was arrested, he “admitted that officials associated with Russian intelligence were involved in passing a story about” the president’s son Hunter Biden and Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company he worked for.

With House Republicans describing the FD-1023 as the “heart” of their impeachment case against Biden and right-wing media relentlessly promoting it for months, CNN chief congressional correspondent Manu Raju pressed Jordan to weigh in on Smirnov’s arrest and that the informant’s claims were based on Russian intelligence.

The MAGA lawmaker immediately attempted to pivot, claiming that it “doesn’t change the four fundamental facts” behind his impeachment push, which is essentially just a rehashing of the debunked theory that led to former President Donald Trump’s first impeachment.

Rattling off his “four fundamental facts,” a well-worn talking point he has been repeating ad nauseam for years, Jordan concluded by insisting then-Vice President Biden did Burisma’s bidding by pressuring Ukraine to fire a corrupt prosecutor. In previous instances, however, Jordan had said his “facts” lent credence to Smirnov’s bribery allegations.

Raju, meanwhile, reminded the Ohio Republican that he has recently told Fox News that “the 1023 is the most corroborating piece of information” and was from a “highly credible confidential human source.”

A sputtering Jordan shot back that the new revelations about the informant’s claims still “doesn't change those fundamental facts,” prompting a shocked Raju to interject: “But it’s not true!”

The Judiciary chairman then countered with what appears to be the growing narrative in pro-Trump circles—that the FBI is at fault for giving credibility to Smirnov’s unsubstantiated allegations.

DOJ Accuses One of GOP’s Key Biden Impeachment Witnesses of Lying

“This source was a paid source by the FBI. When we were trying to get the 1023, they told us this could jeopardize national security, and the safety of this source,” Jordan exclaimed. “They didn’t want to release it! And now they’re saying he gave false information.” (The feds, in fact, initially did not want to publicly release the FD-1023 largely because Smirnov’s claims were unverified.)

“But your promotion of a bribery scheme was false,” the CNN reporter retorted, leading Jordan to say, “Not at all,” while once more leaning on his “four facts” talking point.

“What Smirnov said is not true; you at least concede that?” Raju fired back.

“Well, yeah, that’s what the FBI is saying,” Jordan shrugged.

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