Devon Archer Says Biden’s Claims That He ‘Knew Nothing’ About Son Hunter’s Business Dealings Are ‘Categorically False’

Hunter Biden’s longtime business partner described in detail how the involvement of President Biden in his son’s business affairs was what led foreign entities to hire Biden fils for large sums and to give him an expensive sport cars and a luxury watch.

AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Hunter Biden's former close friend, Devon Archer, was sentenced to prison for a year and a day for the same fraud scheme in which Jason Galanis was implicated. AP/J. Scott Applewhite

In a new interview, Devon Archer is saying that President Biden denying knowing anything about his son Hunter’s business dealings is “categorically false.” In detailing the value of the “Biden brand,” Archer is likely to be a key witness should the House begin an impeachment inquiry into the president. 

Archer sat with a newly independent journalist, Tucker Carlson, to detail his personal history and how that led to his partnership with the younger Mr. Biden. After years of working in finance in Vietnam and producing an Emmy Award-winning documentary, Archer opened a private equity firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners, which Mr. Biden joined in either 2008 or 2009. 

The two men had a professional relationship and close friendship for more than two decades. They became estranged in recent years after Archer became entangled in a securities fraud scheme involving a Native American tribe that led to him being convicted for fraud. His conviction was thrown out on appeal for a new trial, and then reinstated by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in July. On Saturday, the Department of Justice began the process of setting a date for Archer to begin his one-year prison sentence.

While Archer told Mr. Carlson he couldn’t comment on an ongoing legal case, he also made clear that he believed the “downward trajectory” of his life began with his and Mr. Biden’s friendship. While studying at Yale College in the 1990s, Archer became friends with the heir to the Heinz Ketchup fortune, Chris Heinz, who is also the stepson of Secretary Kerry. Mr. Heinz later introduced Archer to Mr. Biden at the 2000 Democratic National Convention. 

Like Icarus, Archer told Mr. Carlson he’d flown “too close to the sun.” In emails uncovered in Mr. Biden’s now-notorious laptop, Archer railed to the first son about his prosecution by “your father’s Justice Department” that was “ruining” his life. Mr. Biden replied that Archer “was a Biden” and would be taken care of. Instead, Archer has found himself on his own and facing prison. 

In his conversation with Mr. Carlson, Archer stated that the elder Mr. Biden’s insistence that he knew nothing about his son’s businesses is “categorically false.” The first son was brought into the company in order to “expand” their network “exponentially,” which included providing Rosemont introductions to major financial backers of the Democratic Party. 

Mr. Carlson said it is a sign of “deeper corruption” that “Washington is the place you go to raise money,” a statement with which Archer agreed. He had hoped that Mr. Biden would provide introductions to major pension funds that could yield Archer’s firm billions of dollars. 

Eventually, Archer was presented with the opportunity to invest in a Ukrainian energy company, Burisma. During a conference at Lake Como, Italy, Archer and Mr. Biden had a meeting with two Burisma executives, the founder and president, Mykola Zlochevsky, as well as the company’s chief financial officer, Vadim Pojarskii. 

During that 2014 meeting, Messrs. Zlochevky and Pojarskii made the decision to offer a board seat to the first son — something Archer claims was a “signal” to investors and law enforcement in Ukraine that their company carried some leverage at the District of Columbia. 

“They saw that opportunity” of getting Mr. Biden on their board, Archer said, which would help them pursue new business ventures in America. 

During that time, Mr. Biden had been hired by Rosemont as an attorney to help deal with the Ukrainians, even though the first son had never worked as a practicing attorney. His first job after graduating from Yale Law School was at a bank. 

“I’m sorry, I’m calling bulls— on this one thing,” Mr. Carlson said, before laughing. He pointed out that there are countless attorneys at the District of Columbia with experience working in the domestic and foreign energy sectors. 

Once Mr. Biden was on the board, Archer claims, the Ukrainian executives quickly began using him as a point of access to the federal government. The first son’s role was to help manage the company’s international troubles, mostly dealing with American government officials. “That ability to help on the geopolitical stage, keep them out of trouble, keep them out of investigations, unfreeze assets” was the major — if only — benefit Mr. Biden brought to the table, Archer said. 

At one point, during a meeting at Doha where Archer was present, Messrs. Zlochevsky and Pojarskii discussed the threat posed by the prosecutor general of Ukraine, Viktor Shokin, who was later fired at the urging of Vice President Biden. 

Mr. Pojarskii told Mr. Biden to “use your influence” to “stop politically motivated actions.” He was also asked to call the District of Columbia, though Archer did not know exactly who the first son was calling. “Shokin was considered a threat to the business,” Archer said. 

“There was all this pressure to fire Shokin” from the Ukrainian business community “and then he was fired and somehow Burisma was let off the hook,” Archer said with a laugh. 

Mr. Carlson then asked if Archer had any suspicions about the firing of Mr. Shokin and any role Mr. Biden may have had in that. Board members were “fed the narrative” that Mr. Shokin would actually be easier to deal with than his successor, who could be a much more harsh investigator. Archer said he took that narrative at face value and never thought twice about it, then noted that “hindsight is 20/20” and he should have seen there could be some connection. 

That is “just how the world works,” Archer continued. “There was constant pressure to send signals to leverage all of his — you know, his dad included but the Biden brand, the D.C. insider, and relationships to help Burisma survive.”

The first son brought value to the company, Archer said, but not with respect to any governmental experience or business acumen. “The prize, or being able to be on speaker phone” with the vice president was the value of having Hunter on the board. “The prize is that contact and that access to power.”

Mr. Carlson also asked about the “non-taxable” gifts Mr. Biden received from his Ukrainian counterparts, which included a luxury Hublot watch that Archer believed to be worth between $50,000 and $100,000. Archer also told House investigators this week that the Ukrainians also gave the younger Mr. Biden a Fisker sports car.

“The trajectory of my life would’ve been far different, and arguably far better, if I never met” Mr. Biden, Archer said, referring to his current legal travails, which he said have ruined him and his family.

The New York Sun

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