WASHINGTON — Devon Archer, Hunter Biden’s former business associate, is giving closed-door testimony to the House Oversight Committee on Monday, a move that comes as GOP lawmakers are continuing to take aim at the business dealings of President Joe Biden’s family.
Republicans have alleged for months that Joe Biden knew about his son’s business dealings and was engaged in influence peddling with his family while he served as vice president. It’s an allegation that the White House has denied and called baseless innuendo.
Archer’s testimony also comes after Hunter Biden’s decision to plead not guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges in a Wilmington, Delaware, court last week. He was originally expected to plead guilty under an agreement made with federal prosecutors, which Republicans claimed was a “sweetheart deal.”
But who is Devon Archer? What are Republicans hoping to get from Archer’s testimony? Here’s what you need to know.
Who is Devon Archer?
Archer joined the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings LLC with Hunter Biden in 2014. He also co-founded Rosemont Seneca Partners, a private equity firm, with Hunter Biden and Christopher Heinz, John Kerry’s stepson, in 2009.
Republicans believe Archer could be key in revealing information about Joe Biden allegedly being involved in Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings as a growing group of conservative lawmakers push to impeach the president.
Rep. James Comer, R-KY, previously subpoenaed Archer in June to appear for a deposition, noting that he “played a significant role in the Biden family’s business deals abroad, including but not limited to China, Russia, and Ukraine” in a letter to Archer’s attorney. Comer also wrote that Archer has met Joe Biden on multiple occasions and was involved in transactions involving foreign companies and foreign nationals with Hunter Biden.
Republicans have also highlighted unverified claims that Hunter Biden put his father on the phone with foreign business partners.
Comer said in an interview with Fox News on Sunday that Archer has the opportunity to tell the truth about the Biden’s family business dealings in front of the committee.
“Devon Archer could be in that category of Americans that just come and tell the truth. That’s all we want,” Comer said.
When Archer arrived for his testimony and was asked by a reporter what he would tell congressional investigators about Hunter Biden’s business deals, Archer did not give details. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio., Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., and Rep. Dan Goldman, D-N.Y., were in attendance, according to The Hill.
Republicans raise speculation ahead of Archer’s testimony
Archer was convicted in 2018 for his role in a scheme surrounding the fraudulent issuance and sale of more than $60 million in tribal bonds. He was sentenced to a year and day in prison last year, and a Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit earlier this month denied Archer’s appeal of his sentence.
The Justice Department sent a request to the judge overseeing the case on Saturday to schedule a time and date for when Archer can surrender and serve his term in prison. But some Republicans, including Comer, raised allegations about the timing of the letter as Archer’s testimony approached.
“It’s odd that it was issued on a Saturday, and it’s odd that it’s right before he’s scheduled to come in to have an opportunity to speak in front of the House Oversight Committee and tell the American people the truth about what really went on with Burisma,” Comer said in an interview on Sunday.
However, Matthew Schwartz, Archer’s attorney, denied the allegation.
“To be clear, Mr. Archer does not agree with that speculation. In any case, Mr. Archer will do what he has planned to do all along, which is to show up on Monday and to honestly answer the questions that are put to him by the Congressional investigators,” Schwartz said in a statement to CNN on Sunday.
The Justice Department sent a follow-up letter on Sunday that says “the Government does not request (and has never requested) that the defendant surrender before his Congressional testimony.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Devon Archer, Hunter Biden’s former business associate, testifies in Congress