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The Justice Department has asked a judge to order Hunter Biden’s former business partner, who is scheduled to testify about alleged past criminal business dealings involving President Joe Biden on Monday, to report to prison on previous charges.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York requested in a letter to U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams to schedule a date for Hunter’s former business partner, Devon Archer, to report to prison after a jury convicted him of defrauding a Native American tribe and various investment advisory clients of tens of millions of dollars. Archer’s sentence has been postponed due to several appeals from his legal counsel.
“In light of the foregoing, the Government respectfully requests that the defendant be ordered to surrender, at a date and time determined by the Court, to a facility designated by the Bureau of Prisons to commence his term of imprisonment,” DOJ said. “The Government has conferred with counsel for the defendant about this request and asked that counsel propose a date for the defendant’s surrender.”
Archer, 58, who served as a director of Ukrainian energy company Burisma alongside Hunter Biden, is expected to testify in a closed-door session before the House Oversight Committee on Monday that Hunter put then-Vice President Joe Biden on the phone roughly two dozen times as Hunter spoke to his foreign business partners or business investors. According to POLITICO, Judge Abrams is not expected to make a decision before Archer testifies.
Archer’s counsel called the letter from the DOJ “premature,” citing his continued appeal and a “newly-discovered sentencing error that the government has now conceded,” adding that they plan to respond to the government’s request by Wednesday.
DOJ officials said in the letter they disagreed with the counsel’s position that a report date should not be set.
Matthew Schwartz, an attorney for Archer, told POLITICO the counsel dismissed a connection between Archer’s sentencing and the filing or the timing of the Justice Department’s letter.
“We are aware of speculation that the Department of Justice’s weekend request to have Mr. Archer report to prison is an attempt by the Biden administration to intimidate him in advance of his meeting with the House Oversight Committee,” Schwartz said in a statement. “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.”
Oversight Chair James Comer (R-KY) said last month after he issued a subpoena against Archer that he “played a significant role in the Biden family’s business deals abroad, including but not limited to China, Russia, and Ukraine.”
An associate of Archer’s previously said he is testifying out of his obligation to his “civic duty.” The associate also said Archer stated 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.”
President Biden has repeatedly claimed he did not speak with his son about Hunter’s foreign business dealings.