Devon Archer tells Congress Burisma pressured Hunter Biden to deal with Ukrainian prosecutor
Archer also told lawmakers Joe Biden frequently got on the phone with Hunter Biden's business associates, undercutting president's longstanding claims to the contrary
Devon Archer delivered bombshell testimony to Congress on Monday, telling lawmakers that Burisma Holdings pressured Hunter Biden in December 2015 to deal with a Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating the firm for corruption shortly before the then-vice president took steps to force the prosecutor's firing, according to lawmakers familiar with the transcribed interview.
Archer told the House Oversight and Accountability Committee that Hunter Biden was added to Burisma's board in 2014 because his family's "brand" brought value at a time when the firm was facing corruption allegations from the United States, Great Britain and Ukraine's own prosecutor general office, the lawmakers said.
"Devon Archer testified that the value of adding Hunter Biden to Burisma’s board was 'the brand' and confirmed that then-Vice President Joe Biden brought the most value to 'the brand,'" the committee said in a statement issued by Chairman James Comer. "Archer also stated that Burisma would have gone under if not for 'the brand."
Archer also directly contradicted Joe Biden's long held claims he never met with Hunter Biden's foreign business associates, telling the committee America's current president got on speakerphone more than 20 times with his son's business clients.
Archer testified that Joe Biden did not engage in specific business on such calls, instead he "was put on the phone to sell 'the brand,'" the committee said.
After the interview, even Democrats were forced to acknowledge Joe Biden had contacts with business associates of his son. And Comer accused the president of misleading the American public.
"Devon Archer’s testimony today 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. Joe Biden was 'the brand' that his son sold around the world to enrich the Biden family. When Joe Biden was Vice President of the United States, he joined Hunter Biden’s dinners with his foreign business associates in person or by speakerphone over 20 times."
“Why did Joe Biden lie to the American people about his family’s business dealings and his involvement? It begs the question what else he is hiding from the American people," he added.
Archer, a former business partner at the Rosemont Seneca firm who was convicted in 2018 in a tribal bond fraud scheme, also told lawmakers that Hunter Biden was pressured in late 2015 to help deal with Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin's corruption investigation as Joe Biden was preparing to travel to Ukraine.
"In December 2015, Mykola Zlochevsky, the owner of Burisma, and Vadym Pozharski, an executive of Burisma, placed constant pressure on Hunter Biden to get help from D.C. regarding the Ukrainian prosecutor, Viktor Shokin," the committee explained, recounting Archer's testimony. "Shokin was investigating Burisma for corruption. Hunter Biden, along with Zlochevsky and Pozharski, 'called D.C.' to discuss the matter. Biden, Zlochevsky, and Pozharski stepped away to take the call."
A few days after that meeting, Joe Biden visited Ukraine as vice president and began an effort to force Ukraine's president to fire Shokin, eventually threatening to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees if the termination did not happen. Biden's defenders have long maintained the firing was not related to Burisma and was a result of U.S. policy because the Obama administration felt Shokin was corrupt.
Shokin has denied being corrupt and claims his firing was a result of his probe of Burisma.
Archer also testified that in spring of 2014, then-Vice President Biden attended a business dinner with his son, Hunter, and his business associates at Café Milano in Washington, D.C., where the Russian oligarch Elena Baturina attended, the source said.
Following Archer's testimony, New York Democratic Rep. Dan Goldman told reporters that Archer recalled Hunter speaking with his father "every day" on the phone.
"He approximated that about 20 times over the course of his 10-year business relationship that he had with Hunter Biden, which would be about twice a year, that Hunter would put his father on speakerphone with whomever was at dinner — and there was no indication that he had any idea who was at dinner with them," according to Goldman's recount of Archer's testimony.