(Bloomberg) -- A former FBI informant charged with falsely telling his handler that President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden had received millions of dollars in bribes from a Ukrainian energy company was arrested again after the government said his ties to Russian intelligence made him a flight risk.

Alexander Smirnov, who was indicted Feb. 15 and released on bail two days ago, was in a meeting with his attorneys early Thursday when he was arrested again “on the same charges and based on the same indictment,” his lawyer David Chesnoff said in a court filing requesting an emergency hearing on the matter.

It’s the latest twist in the unusual case around Smirnov, whose indictment threw cold water on a conspiracy theory that helped trigger a probe by House Republicans into the Bidens’ conduct. Smirnov was indicted by the same Justice Department special counsel, David Weiss, who brought charges against Hunter Biden for alleged federal gun and tax crimes.

The second arrest warrant was issued by the federal court in Los Angeles, where the underlying case against Smirnov was filed, according to the lawyer’s letter.

A Justice Department spokesperson confirmed Smirnov is in federal custody and declined to comment further.

Magistrate Judge

The magistrate judge in Nevada who had released Smirnov on bail ordered the government on Thursday night to respond to the former FBI informant’s request for a new hearing. His lawyer separately asked the judge to issue an order barring Smirnov from being transported to Los Angeles.

The new arrest came after prosecutors urged the federal court in Los Angeles to review the Nevada decision allowing his release on bail, alleging there’s a risk Smirnov will flee.

Smirnov could use his “extensive foreign ties,” including those to Russian intelligence agencies, to “resettle” outside the US, the filing said.

The US also claims Smirnov failed to disclose that Smirnov has access to more than $6 million in liquid funds, which prosecutors describe as “more than enough money for him to live comfortably overseas for the rest of his life.” Instead he allegedly told the government he only had $1,500 in cash and $5,000 in a checking account, according to the filing.

“The fact that Smirnov misrepresented his assets alone should cause Smirnov to be detained because it shows that, at the first opportunity, he did not provide true and complete information to Pretrial Services,” the US said.

The filing asserts that while Smirnov, as an Israeli citizen, agreed to turn in his passport, he can get a new one simply by visiting an Israeli consulate, one of which is just five hours away in Los Angeles.

Chesnoff’s letter on Thursday said the circumstances of his second arrest suggests the government’s concerns are unfounded.

“It should further be noted that the fact that the defendant was attending a legal consultation meeting at his attorneys’ office contradicts the notion that he is a risk of flight,” the lawyer said. 

Read More: Hunter Biden Says Indicted FBI Informant Tainted Gun Case

Smirnov, a longtime confidential informant, allegedly told his FBI handler in 2020 that Burisma executives had revealed to him in 2015 and 2016 that they had hired Hunter to obtain the protection of Joe Biden, then the vice president, and had paid $5 million in bribes to both of them.

According to the special counsel, Smirnov’s claims were fabrications, and he embellished routine contacts he had with Burisma executives in 2017, after Biden was already out of office.

(Updates with Justice Department confirming Smirnov is in federal custody.)

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