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Across multiple TV interviews and posts to social media, Comer explained how statements provided by first son Hunter Biden’s former business partner Devon Archer during a closed-door hearing on Monday “opened the door” to FARA violations in dealings with foreign nationals.
“When you think about what Archer testified today,” Comer said during an interview with Newsmax, “My question is now, ‘Did Joe Biden [violate] the Foreign Agents Registration Act?’ Because his family was receiving millions and millions of dollars from these foreign nationals. None of these people [Hunter] put his dad on the business phone with are reputable business people. They all are under some type of investigation or on the flee in the countries where they originate from.”
FARA “requires certain agents of foreign principals who are engaged in political activities or other activities specified under the statute to make periodic public disclosure of their relationship with the foreign principal, as well as activities, receipts and disbursements in support of those activities,” according to the Department of Justice (DOJ). In FARA cases, which were not very common until recent years, violations could lead to criminal or civil penalties. Anyone who is found to have “willfully” violated a FARA provision could face up to five years in prison and a hefty fine.
Hunter Biden may yet be charged with FARA violations, prosecutors said in court last week as a plea and pretrial diversion agreements over alleged tax and gun crimes hit a roadblock. A trio of GOP House chairmen, including Comer, are now pressing the DOJ for information regarding the arrangement.
During his closed-door interview with the House Oversight Committee on Monday, Archer divulged that Hunter Biden put his father on speaker phone roughly 20 times during meetings with business associates to sell the “brand” and the “illusion of access,” according to lawmakers. Comer went as far as to say Archer’s testimony “confirms Joe Biden lied to the American people when he said he had no knowledge about his son’s business dealings and was not involved.”
Rep. Dan Goldman (D-NY), a member of the panel who served as lead counsel in the first Trump impeachment, insisted Joe Biden’s conversations were purely casual, focusing on innocuous topics such as the weather. Goldman also pushed for the release of the transcript, saying it does not lead anyone to believe the elder Biden benefited financially from his son’s dealings. The House Oversight Committee said on Tuesday that it would release the transcript after a “process” that includes receiving it from court reporters and allowing the witness a chance to review it.
The FARA thread may become a topic of greater conversation in the months to come and could fuel a push to get Biden impeached, as suggested by conservative commentator Mark Levin.
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. Now, his Ukraine portfolio has stormed back into the limelight with the emergence of an alleged bribery scheme involving an executive with Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company that employed Hunter on its board, and a push to fire the country’s top prosecutor leading a corruption investigation into the firm.
“Did Joe Biden violate the Foreign Agents Registration Act? Because he was an active participant in at least one deal we know of with the Burisma deal. He was actively participating and doing a benefit to this foreign agent for this foreign country. And he was withholding American tax dollars in the form of foreign aid for that,” Comer told Fox News, alluding to how Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees if Ukraine did not fire the prosecutor.
“I mean, this is very serious,” Comer said, adding that the Archer interview amounted to a “huge step towards implicating Joe Biden in many of these crimes.”