The decade's most triggering comedy
The Biden family “brand” helped a Ukrainian energy company stay in business, a former associate of first son Hunter Biden told lawmakers this week.
Devon Archer, who served on the board of Burisma Holdings with Hunter Biden, testified to the GOP-led House Oversight Committee in a closed-door session on Monday, and a lightly-redacted transcript was released on Thursday.
The transcript shows Archer said he was “not aware” of any wrongdoing by President Joe Biden and had no knowledge of the elder Biden, as vice president, altering U.S. foreign policy to benefit his son.
Still, Archer testified that he thought Burisma, beset by inquiries seeking to root out corruption, “was able to survive for as long as it did” because of the Biden “brand.”
Archer explained the value of having the “Biden family” associated with the company while conceding that the “brand” mainly got its power from Joe Biden.
He said the Biden family ties sent out the “right signals” to open opportunities around the world and offered the “capabilities to navigate D.C. that they were able to, you know, basically be in the news cycle.”
Archer said Burisma executives would lean on Hunter Biden to “get help” in Washington, D.C., which he took to mean “soft lobbying help,” to alleviate “constant pressure” on the company.
At one point, Archer speculated that Hunter Biden sought to get credit for his father making a visit to Ukraine because he “was getting paid a lot of money, and I think, you know, he wanted to show value.”
Under questioning by Rep. Dan Goldman (D-NY), Archer talked about the impact of the Biden association, saying that “people would be intimidated to mess with them.” Pressed to elaborate, Archer added, “legally.”
For years, Joe Biden claimed to have never spoken to Hunter about his business dealings, but lately, the White House has taken to saying the elder Biden never did business with his son. Hunter Biden is facing a federal criminal investigation and may yet be charged with Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) violations, as attested by prosecutors in court last week, as his plea deal involving tax and gun charges hit a roadblock.
With the release of the transcript on Thursday, the House Oversight Committee touted in a series of posts to X how Archer’s testimony “confirmed several critical pieces of information in our investigation of the Bidens’ influence peddling schemes.”
In addition to pointing out passages about the Biden “brand,” the oversight panel highlighted Archer testifying about how Hunter Biden put his father on speaker phone roughly 20 times during meetings with business associates from around the world and then-Vice President Joe Biden attending dinners with his son’s foreign business associates “who wired money to Biden associated LLCs.”
Democrats have claimed the inquiry is tainted by politics while the president has called corruption allegations “a bunch of malarkey.” As emphasized by Goldman before the transcript was released, Archer recalled Joe Biden’s conversations with his son’s business associates being casual, sticking to broad or innocuous topics such as “the world” and the weather.
Archer, a former John Kerry presidential campaign adviser, was sentenced in 2022 to roughly a year in prison after being convicted in a Native American tribal entity fraud scheme in which Hunter Biden was not implicated, but the prison sentence had been delayed amid the appeals process. The Department of Justice has asked a judge in the Southern District of New York to pick a time for Archer to surrender and begin his time behind bars.