Hunter Biden’s former business partner told lawmakers, throughout his nearly five hours of testimony earlier this week, that “nothing” of importance was discussed the 20 times he recalled then-Vice President Joe Biden being placed on speaker phone during meetings with business partners, according to a full transcript of the closed-door interview released by House Oversight Committee Republicans on Thursday.
Devon Archer also testified that he was not privy to any conversations between Hunter Biden and Joe Biden in which they discussed how Joe Biden would take official actions on behalf of his son, nor did he have any knowledge of an alleged bribery scheme involving the former vice president.
“There are touch points and contact points that I can’t deny that happened, but nothing of material was discussed,” Archer told lawmakers earlier this week.
“I have no basis to understand what his father and his conversations were about policy in Ukraine. But, as you can see, that seems pretty familiar, that, you know, he can’t influence it but take credit for it,” Archer testified. Rather he said that Hunter Biden was giving the false impression to executives of Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company where he served as a board member, that he had influence over US policy.
Asked by Democrat Rep. Dan Goldman of New York, “In other words, Hunter Biden would take credit for his father’s actions, even though he had no role or influence in those actions?”
Archer replied, “He would take credit for them.”
Goldman asked, “So is it fair to say that Hunter Biden was selling the illusion of access to his father?”
“Yes,” Archer replied.
CNN previously reported that Archer testified Hunter Biden was selling the illusion of access to his father.
He was also asked, did Hunter Biden ever ask his father to take official actions on behalf of his business partners? “He did not,” Archer said. “He did not ask him — to my knowledge, I never saw him say, do anything for any particular business.”
Republicans and Democrats have both sought to highlight portions of Archer’s hours-long testimony in a way that fits their competing political agendas.
GOP Rep. James Comer of Kentucky, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, reiterated Thursday that he believes the full transcript of Archer’s testimony confirms that Hunter Biden sold his father’s “brand” around the world to enrich the Biden family.
The panel’s top Democrat, however, said in a statement that the transcript confirms Archer did not provide evidence showing then-Vice President Biden was involved in or profited from any of his son’s foreign business dealings.
“Once again, Committee Republicans’ priority investigation into President Biden has failed to produce any evidence of wrongdoing by President Biden,” Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland said in a statement after the complete testimony was released.
Despite the competing political narratives, the transcript does confirm that Archer told lawmakers that he first heard of the allegation that President Biden was paid $5 million in bribes from a foreign business official in the FBI tip sheet released by Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa. Archer said he was not aware of any $5 million payment to Hunter or his father from the Ukrainian official.
Archer also told lawmakers that he was “not aware of any” wrongdoing by President Biden, the transcript shows.
Still, House Republicans have vowed to continue investigating the Biden family’s foreign business dealings.
Following the closed-door interview earlier this week, Archer’s lawyer said in a statement to CNN that all his client did was tell the truth.
“But all Devon Archer did was exactly what we said he would: show up and answer the questions put to him honestly and completely,” Matthew L. Schwartz, managing partner of Boies Schiller Flexner LLP and counsel to Archer said.
“Mr. Archer shared the truth with the Committee, and we will leave to them and others to decide what to do with it.”
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