Democrat Calls for Release of Devon Archer Transcript as GOP, Dems Draw Differing Conclusions on Hunter Biden’s Businesses

Ryan Morgan
By Ryan Morgan
August 1, 2023Congress
Democrat Calls for Release of Devon Archer Transcript as GOP, Dems Draw Differing Conclusions on Hunter Biden’s Businesses
House Oversight Committee member Rep. Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.) talks to reporters as he departs the O'Neill House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington on July 31, 2023. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Rep. Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.) has called on House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) to release the full transcript of the committee’s closed-door interview with Devon Archer, a former business partner of President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.

In an appearance on CNN on Monday night, Mr. Goldman said, “I would urge Chairman Comer, rather than to continue to send out misinformation about what transpired in the transcribed interview, to actually put out the transcript, which he can do as soon as he wants.

“I think anyone who reads that transcript—and I was there, so I can tell you what happened—would come away from that believing that Joe Biden had nothing to do with Hunter Biden’s business dealings, derived no benefit from it, received no money, and did not know about anything that Hunter Biden was doing, nor did he ever discuss it with Hunter Biden or the business associates,” Mr. Goldman added in his interview with host Anderson Cooper.

Following Monday’s hearing, Mr. Goldman told reporters that Mr. Archer had described how Joe Biden spoke to his son’s business partners around 20 different times over a 10-year period. Mr. Goldman characterized these conversations as “casual” and typical of the relationship between a father and son who spoke regularly over the phone. The Democratic lawmaker said there were instances where, “when one of them would call the other, that Hunter Biden would ask his father to say hello to whomever he was at dinner [with],” but said Mr. Archer was “unequivocal” that conversations never touched on business dealings.

Mr. Goldman also said calls between the elder Biden and his son increased dramatically around 2015, as the then-vice president’s other son, Beau Biden, was dying from cancer.

“Joe Biden was calling his son to check on him, and Hunter Biden was calling his dad to check on him. It had nothing to do with business, and that is the sum and substance of what the testimony was,” Mr. Goldman told reporters outside the hearing on Monday afternoon.

After the hearing, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) agreed that the phone conversations that Mr. Archer described were mostly “pleasantries,” but insisted there was more significance to the interactions than Mr. Goldman was letting on. According to Mr. Biggs, Mr. Archer testified that Hunter Biden brought the value of the “Biden brand” to a Ukrainian gas company they worked for called Burisma, and that the gas company “would have gone under without the participation of the Biden brand.”

A member of the Republican staff on the House Oversight Committee told NTD News that the committee will release the transcript once it goes through a review process. The staff member said a court reporter has to finalize the transcript, and Mr. Archer will need to review it for corrections before it can be made public.

Joe Was the ‘Biden Brand’: GOP

Mr. Comer issued a statement on Monday saying Mr. Archer confirmed that Joe Biden was “‘the brand’ that his son sold around the world,” and that his interactions with his son’s business partners included both phone conversations and in-person interactions.

In an interview with Fox News on Monday night, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said Joe Biden attended two different dinners with his son’s business partners in person at the Café Milano in Washington D.C. and that, in one of those cases, the elder Biden “was there for the entire dinner.”

Mr. Archer and the younger Biden worked together on several business ventures, including work for Burisma. Following Mr. Archer’s testimony, Mr. Comer assessed that in December of 2015, Burisma owner Mykola Zlochevsky and executive Vadym Pozharski pressured the younger Biden to leverage his contacts in Washington D.C. to bring about an end to a corruption investigation against the company by Ukrainian prosecutor, Viktor Shokin. Mr. Comer said Mr. Zlochevsky, Mr. Pozharski, and the younger Biden stepped away and “called D.C.” at one point to discuss the matter.

Mr. Shokin was removed from office in March of 2016. In a 2018 speech before the Council on Foreign Relations, the elder Biden described how as vice president, he threatened to withhold about $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees to Ukraine unless they fired the prosecutor.

While Mr. Comer asserted that Burisma executives wanted Mr. Shokin fired, Mr. Goldman said Mr. Archer believed the move to oust Mr. Shokin was counterproductive. Mr. Goldman told reporters that Mr. Archer testified that Burisma believed they had Mr. Shokin “in their pocket, [that] they had control over him.”

“The only evidence we have right now of any official action by President Biden in connection to Hunter Biden’s business interests is bad for Hunter Biden’s business,” Mr. Goldman concluded of the decision to oust the Ukrainian prosecutor.

Mr. Goldman claimed the then-vice president’s actions in ousting Mr. Shokin exhibited “integrity” in the face of his son’s business dealings. Mr. Goldman said that after Mr. Shokin was removed from office, Hunter Biden tried “to get credit with Burisma on behalf of actions that his father took that were completely unrelated.”

Last month, Mr. Comer released a copy (pdf) of an official tip by an FBI confidential informant who claimed to have spoken with Mr. Zlochevsky and assessed that the Burisma owner viewed Mr. Shokin’s investigation as a problem for his company. While discussing Mr. Shokin’s investigation, the informant alleged Mr. Zlochevsky said “Hunter will take care of all of those issues through his dad.” The informant alleged Mr. Zlochevsky told him that both Joe Biden and Hunter Biden advised him to keep Hunter Biden on Burisma’s board, and that Mr. Zlochevsky had already paid the Bidens “presumably to ‘deal with Shokin.'”

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