The FBI’s description of a confidential source who alleged President Joe Biden was involved in a bribery scheme when he was vice president changed dramatically over a matter of months, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said Tuesday at a Heritage Foundation symposium on the weaponization of government. 

The informant, revealed to be Alexander Smirnov when federal officials indicted him in February, previously had been hailed by FBI brass as “highly credible,” Grassley, the Senate’s most senior member, recalled.

The FBI had touted the informant’s credibility and value as a rationale not to release a document, known as an FD-1023, in which Smirnov alleged that Biden was to be the recipient of a $5 million bribe from a Ukrainian energy company executive. 

So Grassley, working with House Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., released the document.

“After making this document public and forcing the FBI’s hand, the FBI finally interviewed their own source after possessing this 1023 document for three years,” Grassley said at The Heritage Foundation’s Weaponization of the U.S. Government Symposium. (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s news and commentary outlet.)

“At that point, after 13 years on the FBI’s payroll, the Biden administration considered him a liar and then indicted him,” the Iowa Republican said. “The FBI exposed their own source to the world after telling Congress that ‘he’s too credible, we’re going to endanger his life if we tell you anything about him.’”

Smirnov became a confidential informant for the FBI in 2010 and was still providing information to the law enforcement agency as recently as December, Grassley said. 

Last July, Congress made public the FD-1023 document accusing Biden of involvement in a bribery scheme. The form recorded Smirnov’s anonymous claim that an executive with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma planned to give $5 million to Biden and another $5 million to the president’s son Hunter Biden, to gain U.S pressure on the Ukrainian government to end its probe of the company.

The FBI paid Smirnov hundreds of thousands of dollars, used his information in criminal prosecutions, and said he was authorized to commit illegal acts for the FBI during investigations, Grassley said. 

“Except for my listening to the Department of Justice and FBI whistleblowers, that highly credible liar would still be on the FBI payroll,” Grassley said. 

After Smirnov’s indictment for allegedly lying to the FBI, Biden and other Democrats said the House should drop its impeachment inquiry into the Biden family’s influence-peddling scandal. 

“I have never made any allegations in this investigation of President Biden being guilty of anything, but I am in this to make sure that the FBI does its job of law enforcement,” Grassley said.  

“The Biden administration refused to tell Congress what it had done to investigate the truth or veracity of the document—or the lack thereof,” he said later. “Congress made the document public to force an explanation one way or the other. What did the FBI do to follow up on this document? Did they investigate or not investigate? That is what we wanted to know. That’s what the FBI refused to say.”