Joe Biden, who has repeatedly denied involvement in his son’s business endeavors, allegedly participated in dozens of meetings with Hunter Biden’s overseas business associates, the younger Biden’s former best friend Devon Archer is expected to testify as early as this week.
Archer, 48, is scheduled to appear before the House Oversight Committee for a deposition as part of the committee’s investigation into the Biden family’s finances, according to the New York Post. He is expected to testify that he personally witnessed Hunter Biden dialing in his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, on speakerphone into the business meetings.
— Oversight Committee (@GOPoversight) July 24, 2023
Hunter allegedly introduced his father to his foreign business associates in about one-quarter of the speakerphone calls witnessed by Archer. Sometimes, according to the Post, Hunter would also talk to his father without acknowledging that other people were listening in.
Archer was sentenced to a year and a day in prison in February of 2022, for his role in swindling a Native American tribe out of $60 million in bonds. He lost his appeal to have his conviction and sentence tossed last month.
The embattled businessman has reportedly canceled scheduled depositions before the committee three times since Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) issued a subpoena in June for him to appear.
“Mr. Archer’s testimony is critical to the Committee’s investigation. Mr. Archer was Hunter Biden’s business partner in a number of transactions involving foreign nationals and foreign companies,” Comer told Archer’s lawyer in a letter last week. “Mr. Archer is associated with corporate entities that the Committee has identified and the Biden family’s role in each of them. Furthermore, he has significant information regarding the purpose of these companies and knowledge of relevant documents related to the Committee’s investigation.”
The committee hoped to bring Archer in on Monday, but he cancelled that meeting too, according to Fox News’ Chad Pergram. The committee is now reportedly aiming for Thursday, “but it’s far from clear if Archer will show,” Pergram reported on Twitter.
According to the Post, Archer’s family has been receiving death threats and warnings to “keep your mouth shut,” since news broke that he would testify before the Republican-controlled committee.
On Sunday, Comer told the Post: “We are looking forward very much to hearing from Devon Archer about all the times he has witnessed Joe Biden meeting with Hunter Biden’s overseas business partners when he was vice president, including on speakerphone.”
Once such meeting took place in Dubai on Dec. 4, 2015, “after a board meeting of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, which was paying Hunter $83,000 a month as a director,” according to the Post.
Archer, who also was a director, is expected to testify that, after dinner with the Burisma board at the Burj Al Arab Hotel, he and Hunter traveled six miles north to the Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach to have a drink with one of Hunter’s friends.
While they were sitting outside at the bar, Vadym Pozharskyi, a senior Burisma executive, phoned to ask where they were because Burisma’s owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, needed to speak to Hunter urgently.
Soon afterward, the two Ukrainians joined Hunter and Archer at the Four Seasons bar and Pozharskyi asked Hunter: “Can you ring your dad?” At the time it was early afternoon Friday in Washington, DC.
Hunter then called his father, put him on speaker, placed the phone on the table, and introduced the Ukrainians to Joe Biden by name as “Nikolai and Vadym.”
He also said words to the effect that the Burisma bigwigs “need our support.”
VP Biden greeted the Ukrainians but spoke only in vague pleasantries during the short call, and in other such interactions with Hunter’s overseas business partners, Archer is expected to testify.
According to the newly released FD-1023 FBI file detailing the Burisma bribery scheme, Zlochevsky told an FBI confidential human source (CHS) in late 2015 or early 2016 that he needed to hire Hunter “to protect us through his dad from all kinds of problems.” At the time, Viktor Shokin, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, was investigating Burisma over allegations of money laundering, tax evasion, and corruption. Meanwhile, Joe Biden was the Obama administration’s “point man” for Ukraine.
Three days after the speakerphone call, the then-vice president was due to fly to Kyiv to address the Ukrainian parliament about the “poison of cronyism, corruption, and kleptocracy.” During the speech, Biden declared that “the Office of the General Prosecutor desperately needs reform.”
Zlochevsky told the FBI informant in 2016 that he paid Joe and Hunter Biden $5 million apiece “to ensure Ukraine Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin was fired.”
He also told the CHS that he had many text messages and audio recordings of phone calls between him and the Bidens to support his claim, including 15 audio recordings of phone calls between him and Hunter, and two recordings between him and then-VP Joe Biden.
Emails on Hunter’s laptop show that in late 2015, Pozharskyi ratcheted up the pressure on Hunter to take care of the Shokin problem.
In an email to Hunter and Archer on Nov. 2, 2015, one month before the speakerphone call, Pozharskyi explicitly demanded that they use their influence to “close down” the criminal investigation against Burisma.
Archer also is expected to detail other speakerphone meetings in his testimony, including a dinner at a restaurant in Paris where Hunter whipped out his phone and put his father on speaker to impress prospective investors.
Hunter performed the same party trick as many as two dozen times in Archer’s presence, the Long Island-born father of three is expected to tell congressional investigators under oath.
On Feb. 2, 2016, Shokin seized “four houses in Kyiv, two plots of land and a Rolls-Royce belonging to Zlochevsky, who was living in exile in Dubai,” according to the Post.
Shokin was fired one month later after the then-Vice President threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. aid to Ukraine.
“I looked at them and said, ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” Biden bragged to the Council on Foreign Relations in January of 2018. “Well, son of a bitch. He got fired.”
Then-V.P. Biden also met with Hunter’s shady business associates in person, according to the witness.
Archer also is expected to testify about two dinners Hunter organized for his VP father to meet business partners from Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan in a private room at Georgetown restaurant Café Milano, one in April 2015, and another in early 2016.
Burisma executive Pozharskyi attended the first dinner, on April 16, 2015, along with Russian billionaire Yelena Baturina and her husband, former Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov.
The next day, Hunter received an email from Pozharskyi to thank him for introducing him to his father.
“Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together,” Pozharskyi wrote. “It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure.”
Another former business partner, Tony Bobulinski, previously alleged that Hunter offered to get his father on the phone during a meeting by the pool at the Chateau Marmont in LA.
“I am also aware of other Biden family business associates confirming that Joe would take phone calls from Hunter in the middle of business meetings and would weigh in via speakerphone,” Bobulinski said.
“Sitting with Hunter at Chateau Marmont before I first met Joe Biden on May 2, 2017, Hunter was adamant that his father takes his calls at any time, no matter what his lawyers say or with gatekeepers like [former Biden spokesperson] Kate Bedingfield playing interference.”
Bobulinski met with Joe Biden in Los Angeles two times in 2017 to be vetted as CEO of a joint venture between the Bidens and the Chinese energy company CEFC, which resulted in millions of dollars of profit for no discernible service.
During a press conference in Nashville, Tennessee, two hours before the presidential debate on October 22 2020, Bobulinski revealed that he’d had an hour-long meeting with Joe Biden in May of 2017 to discuss the business venture.
“In my approximately hour long meeting with Joe that night, we discussed Biden’s history, the Biden’s family business dealing plans with the Chinese, with which he was plainly familiar, at least at a high level,” Bobulinski said at the time.
“The American people don’t fully appreciate yet the key role Joe Biden played in the Biden family global influence peddling … I would equate it to a chairman’s role in a traditional business structure,” Bobulinski said.
Archer is also expected to corroborate previous allegations that Joe Biden went by the alias “big guy” to avoid exposure in business-related communications. Bobulinski previously alleged that Joe Biden is the “big guy” referred to in a notorious 2017 email between Hunter, Bobulinski, and their business partner James Gilliar which said: “10 [percent] held by H for the big guy?”
In the FD-1023 document, the CHS quoted Zlochevsky calling Joe Biden “the big guy.”
A close associate told the Post that Archer is testifying because he believes it is his “civic duty.”
He has “nothing to hide, no revenge to enact nor anyone to protect other than his family and he feels he has been handcuffed by the absurdly bogus [fraud] case into remaining silent. In a forum where he has immunity, he can at least start to speak truth,” the source said.
Joe Biden has repeatedly vigorously denied discussing or being involved in Hunter’s overseas business dealings.
"I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings."
"I have never discussed, with my son or my brother or anyone else, anything having to do with their businesses. Period."
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) July 24, 2023
In 2019, Joe Biden claimed, "I never discussed a single thing with my son about anything having to do with Ukraine. No one has indicated I have."
Today we learned that "Hunter then called his father, put him on speaker…and introduced the Ukrainians to Joe Biden…" pic.twitter.com/4mqt8fxqqS
— House Republicans (@HouseGOP) July 24, 2023
FLASHBACK TO 2019:
Biden claims there is "zero, zero, zero" evidence of corruption against his son, Hunter, or that he spoke to him about his overseas business deals.
He is, of course, lying through his teeth.pic.twitter.com/C7DBUigJnX
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) July 24, 2023
FLASHBACK TO 2019:
Biden freaks out on a farmer who asks about his family’s corrupt foreign business deals — calling him “a damn liar,” “fat,” and “too old,” and challenging him to an “IQ test” and push-up contest.pic.twitter.com/upSdTQCJlw
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) July 21, 2023
After dodging questions about Hunter’s business endeavors for years, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre of Monday declared that Biden “was never *in business* with his son.”
“I’ve been asked this question a million times, the answer is not going to change,” she said. “The answer remains the same.”
"Curious if the White House and the president still stand behind his comment that he's never been involved and has never even spoken to his son about his business?"
KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: "The president was never in business with his son" pic.twitter.com/YRYtpVwqmq
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) July 24, 2023
Archer is now scheduled to testify before the House Oversight Committee next Monday.