Transcripts of Devon Archer’s Testimony Leave Little Room for Doubt That Biden Knew Details About Son Hunter’s Foreign Business Dealings, Could Fuel Impeachment Drive

‘What Hunter ran into was like, almost like an Icarus issue,’ Archer said. ‘So he got a little — it was too close to the sun. It was good to be true. And the connections were too close and the scrutiny too much.’

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

The House Oversight Committee on Thursday released transcripts of its interview with the former close friend and business associate of Hunter Biden, Devon Archer — and Archer’s statements made clear that access to the vice president and the Biden “brand” was the linchpin of Mr. Biden fils’s business strategy.

Archer’s statements fly in the face of President Biden’s repeated assertions that he knew nothing of and had no participation in his son Hunter’s business dealings. Archer’s comments, both to the GOP lawmakers and also in a new video conversation with a former Fox News host, Tucker Carlon, could lead to more calls for an impeachment inquiry.

Archer appeared before the Oversight Committee on Monday behind closed doors, where he spoke with committee staff and a few lawmakers. Only three members of the committee were present — Congressmen Jim Jordan and Andy Biggs, as well as a freshman Democrat, Congressman Dan Goldman. At one point, Mr. Biggs asked Archer to clarify his statement that the Biden family name was “an element” of the first son’s overseas deals. 

“When you say ‘Biden family’ … I just want to get a clarification,” Mr. Biggs said. “You aren’t talking about Dr. Jill or anybody else. You’re talking about Joe Biden. Is that fair to say?”

“Yeah, that’s fair to say,” Archer responded. “Listen, I think it’s — I don’t think about it as, you know, Joe directly, but it’s fair. That’s fair to say. Obviously, that brought the most value to the brand.” Archer said repeatedly during the closed-door testimony that the “brand” of access to the powerful Biden family was incredibly valuable to foreign business entities in countries like Ukraine, Communist China, and Romania, with whom the first son conducted business.

Archer, who served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company, Burisma, alongside Mr. Biden, said that access to the highest levels of the American government made them desirable to foreign actors. “Having those doors opened, you know, sent the right signals,” Archer said of his and Mr. Biden’s government ties. Burisma, Archer said, was trying to “carry on its business and be successful” with help from its Biden family connections. “I think Burisma would have gone out of business if it didn’t have the brand attached to it,” Archer said. 

A newly independent journalist, Mr. Carlson landed an exclusive interview with Archer, the first part of which was released online after Archer’s testimony before the committee concluded. 

During their sit-down, Archer told Mr. Carlson that the use of the Biden family “brand” was “an abuse of soft power” for the purposes of getting rich. “I don’t know if it was an orchestrated call-in or not,” Archer said of the 20 or so instances where the president called into his son’s business meetings. “It certainly was powerful, though, because, you know, if you’re sitting with a foreign business person and you hear the vice president’s voice, that’s prize enough. That’s pretty impactful stuff.”

He said his former friend’s hubris is now negatively affecting the president’s political standing, invoking a Greek myth. “What Hunter ran into was like, almost like an Icarus issue,” Archer said. “So he got a little — it was too close to the sun. It was good to be true. And the connections were too close and the scrutiny too much.”

The lone Democrat to attend Archer’s testimony, Mr. Goldman, said the witness provided no evidence of the president being involved in any of his son’s business dealings, saying the elder Mr. Biden’s meet-and-greets with the first son’s clients were merely inconsequential blandishments.

Before Archer had even completed his testimony, Mr. Goldman emerged from the closed-door meeting and told reporters that Archer did not testify that the elder Mr. Biden ever acted improperly. 

“Now-President Biden didn’t even know” the people he was speaking with over the phone, Mr. Goldman told reporters outside of the hearing room. Archer “described” the phone calls several times, Mr. Goldman said, claiming that Archer said the conversations often did not go further than discussing “how the weather is.” 

“The witness was very consistent that none of those conversations ever had to do with any business dealings or transactions,” Mr. Goldman continued. “They were purely, [Archer] said, casual conversations.”

The White House’s official spokesman for legislative investigations, Ian Sams, also downplayed the disclosure that the president had been on these phone calls. “The President was never in business with his son, and even his son’s associates are testifying to Congress that the President never discussed their business dealings and wasn’t involved in them,” Mr. Sams said in a statement. 

“No amount of Tucker Carlson’s spin and misdirection, cherry picking innocuous niceties to try to mislead people, is going to change that, as much as I’m sure the right wing disinformation machine wishes it could,” he continued.

Despite the denunciations from Democrats, the House could easily move forward with an impeachment inquiry should it choose to do so. Speaker McCarthy has already said the allegation that the younger Mr. Biden involved his father in his businesses — including allegedly taking a bribe from Burisma’s founder — could kick off the process soon. 

“This is rising to the level of impeachment inquiry, which provides Congress the strongest power to get the rest of the knowledge and information needed because this president has also used something that we have not seen since Richard Nixon, used the weaponization of government to benefit his family and deny Congress the ability to have the oversight,” Mr. McCarthy said.

The New York Sun

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