Ex-F.B.I. Informant Is Being Transferred to California

Alexander Smirnov, 43, the former F.B.I. informant accused of peddling lies about President Biden and his son Hunter, is being transported to California and will appear in federal court in Los Angeles on Monday — after being arrested for the second time in a week.

Mr. Smirnov was sitting in his lawyer’s office in Las Vegas Thursday morning when U.S. Marshals burst in to take him into custody.

The hearing will determine if prosecutors had the right to rearrest him two days after a magistrate judge freed him — a highly unusual and aggressive move the government claims was needed to safeguard national security and prevent him from fleeing overseas.

The bizarre episode is the latest development in a case that has spawned public interest and confusion in equal measure, centering on an enigmatic fixer whose accusations formed the fractured bedrock of a push by Republicans to impeach Mr. Biden.

The hearing, before a federal judge in California, is expected to be highly contentious but unlikely to alter the trajectory of the case. Prosecutors indicted Mr. Smirnov last week in California, where the special counsel David C. Weiss has brought tax charges against Hunter Biden. The judge in that jurisdiction authorized Mr. Smirnov’s rearrest on Thursday.

Mr. Weiss’s actions not only pit him against the defense team but also against the magistrate in Las Vegas who released Mr. Smirnov on his own recognizance, without cash bond, after requiring him to turn over his passports and wear an electronic monitoring device.

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