Hero or hyped? 8 questions Biden business partner Devon Archer can answer for Congress
Archer’s proximity to Hunter Biden, Joe Biden and Burisma is of extreme interest to lawmakers.
In the Biden family’s foreign business empire, Devon Archer was at ground zero. He and Hunter Biden joined the Burisma Holdings board in Ukraine at the same time, he golfed and dined with Joe Biden and helped set up the firm that scored the first family the first of two major deals inside communist China.
When he sets foot in a congressional office building Monday for a transcribed interview, Archer will become one of the most anticipated witnesses in House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer’s probe into alleged influence peddling, bribery and tax crimes by the Biden family.
“I don't want to put words in Devon Archer's mouth, but I'll say this: He has an opportunity to come tomorrow to the House Oversight Committee and tell the truth,” Comer said in an interview Sunday, on the eve of the major interrogation. “He has an opportunity to be a hero, like the two whistleblowers were, like the judge in Delaware was, who rejected the sweetheart plea deal from the Department of Justice to Hunter Biden. Devon Archer could be in that category of Americans that just come and tell the truth. That's all we want.”
Archer’s status as a convicted felon also came into focus this weekend when the Justice Department asked a judge in New York to compel the former Hunter Biden business partner to report to prison for a one-year, one-day sentence he received after his 2018 conviction for a tribal bond fraud scheme.
Archer’s lawyer, Matthew Schwartz, issued a statement late last week lowering expectations for the transcribed interview.
"There have been many leaks and much speculation about Mr. Archer’s potential statement to the Oversight Committee, but next week, Mr. Archer will get to speak for himself,” Schwartz said.
Those who know Archer best told Just the News that he plans to be neither Republican hero nor Biden protector, just a fact witness who won’t blab information but will answer questions as precisely as he can. And that makes the line of questioning and follow-ups key to the value of the interrogation.
And Republicans may get a bonus in the weeks ahead if they can acquire, via subpoena, a cache of documents the FBI gathered from Archer during his 2016 arrest that are currently sitting in a digital storage firm.
Here are eight questions for Monday’s transcribed interview, and the subsequent documents, that may provide crucial answers for Americans trying to determine whether the family that occupies the White House is compromised or engaged in criminal activity.
- Why did Burisma hire Hunter Biden in April 2014, on the eve of his father, as vice president, making his first major visit to Ukraine, and what did Archer believe the firm wanted from Hunter Biden being on its board and working as one of its lawyers?
This question has lingered since 2019 when this reporter first disclosed that Joe Biden bragged as vice president had fired Ukraine’s chief prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, by withholding $1 billion in U.S. aid at a time when Shokin was investigating Burisma for corruption. But it has taken on new significance when lawmakers this summer obtained an FBI document showing Burisma’s owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, told a bureau informant that he was “coerced” into paying Hunter and Joe Biden $10 million to help deal with Shokin and the corruption allegations.
- What did Joe Biden know about Hunter Biden’s business dealings in China, Ukraine, Romania and Russia?
Archer had several interactions with Joe Biden as vice president including a 2009 Christmas Party at the vice president’s mansion; an April 2014 exchange at the White House just as Hunter Biden was joining the Burisma board; an August 2014 golf outing in the Hamptons; and a spring 2015 dinner in Washington, D.C., at Café Milano, where several of Hunter Biden’s business associates were in attendance. Among them were a Russian oligarch named Yelena Baturina and Burisma executive Vadym Pozcharskyy.
Joe Biden has claimed for years he knew nothing and had nothing to do with his son’s business partners or dealings. Evidence keeps mounting to the contrary, including the recent release of an FBI interview by IRS whistleblowers showing longtime Biden family friend Rob Walker claiming Joe Biden met with his son’s Chinese business partners. The New York Post reported Joe Biden had more than two dozen interactions with Hunter Biden business associates.
- Why did Joe Biden phone into some of the Burisma board meetings and specifically a December 2015 meeting in Dubai when the firm was panicked that Shokin, the prosecutor, was escalating his probe of the Ukrainian firm?
The New York Post’s Miranda Devine reported recently that Archer is prepared to testify about this conversation. Its timing is essential to congressional investigators because it occurred just a few days before Joe Biden first pressured Ukraine’s president to fire Shokin, an odd request for a U.S. vice president intervening in the internal affairs of a foreign ally.
Archer could provide lawmakers key evidence about what Hunter Biden told his father, what Burisma officials said and what American firm Blue Star Strategies was doing to help Burisma and Hunter Biden dealing with Shokin’s corruption probe.
- Why did the Chinese approach Hunter Biden and Devon Archer in 2013 to form a joint investment firm and what did the Chinese say they wanted out of the relationship?
Archer in 2013 co-founded BHR Partners – a joint-venture between Hunter Biden’s Rosemont Seneca firm and the Chinese’s Bohai Capital investment firm. BHR Partners is a Beijing-backed private equity firm controlled by Bank of China Limited, according to documents made public a few years ago. That deal was struck shortly after Hunter Biden flew aboard Joe Biden’s Air Force II jet and his father briefly met one of the Chinese business suitors.
- Why did Baturina, once Russia’s richest female oligarch and the wife of the former Moscow mayor, reach out to firms associated with Hunter Biden, Devon Archer and other business partners back in 2013 and 2014, and what did she get out of the relationship?
One of the documents the FBI seized during the Archer tribal fraud probe, which resulted in the prison sentence, was from a company that Archer was courting to buy. The document claimed that Baturina had invested as much as $200 million in projects inside the business empire that included Archer, Hunter Biden and other business partners.
A source close to Archer said the actual amount was closer to $120 million. Knowing what the money was for and whether Hunter Biden provided any assistance to a Russian oligarch will be a key line of inquiry for Congress.
“Mr. Archer further discussed the possible sale of his company and the revenues that might be realized, which he said would be a big liquidity event for him, as well as his connections with Bohai, which he said was sponsored by major banks and institutional investors in China,” the memo stated. “He also discussed his client relationship with Yelena Baturina, who he said had invested over 200 million dollars in his various investment funds."
- Was Joe Biden ever promised or sent any money from his son’s overseas business partners and did Hunter Biden ever confide that he paid bills and expenses for his father?
An FBI FD-1023 memo suggested Joe Biden was to receive $5 million from the Burisma deal but that Zlochevsky bragged it would be difficult for anyone to track for at least 10 years. In addition, emails on Hunter Biden’s laptop recovered by the FBI show his and his father’s finances were commingled, with Hunter Biden paying many of Joe Biden’s bills and the future president once sending his Delaware tax refund to his son to reimburse him for expenses.
- Did Hunter Biden have any role in the tribal bond scheme or did he derive any direct or indirect financial benefits from the companies involved in it?
Hunter Biden was never named in the criminal trial of Archer and other business partners. But emails on his laptop show Hunter Biden and his team were panicked when word of Archer’s imminent arrest was made public and he was subpoenaed.
- Did Hunter Biden have a strategy of targeting foreign oligarchs with legal troubles?
In addition to Zlochevsky and Baturina, there is extensive evidence that Hunter Biden and his firms had contacts with other foreign oligarchs including a Chinese energy oligarch named Ye Jianming, later detained in Beijing; a Ukrainian oligarch named Dmitri Firtash, who was indicted in Washington; and a Romanian real estate oligarch named Gabriel “Puiu” Popoviciu, who was dealing with corruption issues in his own home country.
Was it a coincidence or strategy to do business with these sort of foreigners? And what did each oligarch want from the then-vice president’s son?
The Facts Inside Our Reporter's Notebook
- Comer said Sunday in an interview
- Archerâs lawyer, Matthew Schwartz, issued a statement
- more than two dozen interactions with Hunter Biden business associates
- New York Postâs Miranda Devine reported
- a Beijing-backed private equity firm
- Chinese energy oligarch named Ye Jianming
- detained in Beijing
- Ukrainian oligarch named Dmitri Firtash
- Romanian real estate oligarch named Gabriel âPuiuâ Popoviciu