Ranking Member Raskin Calls on House Republicans to End Impeachment Inquiry After Trump-Appointed US Attorney Becomes Latest to Show Their Core Allegation Is a Lie

Feb 15, 2024
Press Release
Follows Special Counsel David Weiss’s Newly Announced Indictments

Washington, D.C. (February 15, 2024)—Rep. Jamie Raskin, Ranking Member of the Committee on Oversight and Accountability, issued the following statement after Special Counsel David Weiss, a Trump appointee retained by the Biden Administration, announced the indictment of Alexander Smirnov for making felony false statements and creating a false and fictitious record for statements he made that were recorded in an official record of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) known as a Form FD-1023.  For months, House Republicans have pointed to the false statements in the FBI Form FD-1023 as key evidence in their ongoing impeachment inquiry:

 

“In a detailed indictment, Special Counsel David Weiss—who was appointed by former President Donald Trump—has demonstrated how key evidence at the heart of House Republicans’ impeachment inquiry is based on a lie.

 

“Special Counsel Weiss’s investigation is just the most recent to debunk the Ukraine-Burisma conspiracy theory at the heart of this fraudulent impeachment inquiry.

 

“It is an undeniable fact that Republicans’ allegations against President Biden have always been a tissue of lies built on conspiracy theories, and I formally call on Speaker Johnson, Chairman Comer, and House Republicans to stop promoting this nonsense and end their doomed impeachment inquiry.”

 

Background:

 

The Ukraine Burisma conspiracy theory has been long peddled by former President Trump, Rudy Giuliani Giuliani, and Russian agents sanctioned by Trump’s own Treasury Department. However, this conspiracy theory has been debunked by years of investigations and independent reporting:
 

  • It was debunked by the former president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, live on Fox News. 

 

  • It was debunked by the testimony of witnesses in Trump’s first impeachment.
      
    • The Trump Administration’s Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker told House investigators that “Rudy Giuliani’s desire for the Ukrainian Government to investigate Burisma” was based on a theory that “had been debunked” and had “no evidence to support it.”
    • Gordon Sondland, President Trump’s Ambassador to the European Union, also told House investigators in 2019 that “the effort by Giuliani to investigate Burisma” was “improper” and likely “illegal.”
       
  • It was debunked by the witnesses interviewed as part of Senate Republicans’ investigation in 2020.
     
  • It was debunked by Mykola Zlochevsky, the owner of Burisma who allegedly partook in the bribery scheme, as evidenced by a document the Committee has had in its possession since 2019. 
     
  • It was debunked by former key Giuliani associate Lev Parnas in his 10-page letter to Chairman Comer, which Parnas offered to reaffirm under oath before the Committee, yet Republicans twice voted against issuing subpoenas to Lev Parnas or Rudy Giuliani.
     
  • It was debunked by Devon Archer, who, in addressing years-old, second-hand bribery allegations in an unverified 2020 FBI Form FD-1023 tipsheet, explicitly stated that he would disagree with anyone concluding from the 1023 form that Joe Biden was bribed by Zlochevsky, dismissing the allegations as the kind of brag, exaggeration, and “fibs” that are common among Ukrainian businessmen.
     
  • The confidential human source who originally reported the information to the FBI in 2020 himself noted it was not unusual for Ukrainian business executives “to brag or show-off” and that he could not offer any opinion as to the “veracity” of the bribery allegations he was relaying.  
     
  • It was debunked by a House Freedom Caucus Member, and even Fox News’s own internal research unit, known as the “Brain Room” determined these attacks to be “disinformation.”

Click here to read additional information from Oversight Democrats.

 

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118th Congress