Joe Biden claimed he ‘never discussed business’ with Hunter
Hunter Biden repeatedly called his father on speaker phone during business meetings, a House Democrat confirmed on Monday after President Joe Biden long claimed he “never discussed business with my son.”
Rep. Dan Goldman’s (D., N.Y.) remarks following a closed-door hearing with one of Hunter Biden’s former business partners, Devon Archer, are a major concession from one of the president’s biggest defenders in Congress. Although Goldman maintained that there was nothing improper about the conversations, Democrats have for months desperately tried to paint any scrutiny into Hunter Biden’s business dealings as a dead end.
“It was clear that it was part of the daily conversations that Hunter Biden had with his father and it sounded like most of the time now-president Biden didn’t even know who the people were with at dinner and was just asked to say hello and he would talk about the weather,” Goldman said to reporters.
Goldman’s comments are bound to create more headaches for the president, who has told a shifting story about his knowledge of his son’s business ventures. Joe Biden said in August 2019 that he has “never discussed business with my son” and scolded a Fox News reporter the next month for asking if he talked to Hunter about his foreign business.
Evidence has since emerged that Joe Biden attended at least two meetings to discuss Hunter’s work in China. Amid those revelations, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed this month that Joe and Hunter Biden were never “in business” together.
Archer met with the House Oversight Committee on Monday to offer testimony about his relationship with the Biden family. Republican lawmakers expressed interest in Archer’s reported claims that he was with Hunter Biden on two dozen occasions when the embattled businessman called his father.
Neither Archer nor Hunter Biden’s attorneys responded to an immediate request for comment.
A full transcript of that hearing is not yet public. Republicans have alleged for years that Joe Biden helped enrich his son—and possibly himself—through a variety of business schemes.
Archer planned to tell lawmakers that Hunter Biden frequently dialed his father during business meetings, according to reports. One of those alleged meetings was with executives from Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy firm where Biden and Archer served as directors. Hunter Biden during a December 2015 meeting called his dad to say the energy firm “needs our support,” Archer claimed.
Archer, who awaits sentencing after his conviction in 2018 for defrauding a Native American tribe in a $60 million bond scheme, has met with a federal grand jury, the Justice Department, and other federal agencies as part of “investigations concerning the Biden family,” his attorney told the Washington Free Beacon last week.
Archer’s testimony is the latest in a series of dramatic developments concerning Hunter Biden. Last week, a plea deal he struck with federal prosecutors over charges related to not paying taxes and illegal firearm ownership fell apart after scrutiny from a federal judge.
Republicans previously criticized Hunter Biden’s lenient treatment as a “sweetheart deal,” and IRS whistleblowers have said they were prepared to bring felony charges against him. Hunter Biden is expected to be back in court sometime next month.
It is unclear whether Archer and Biden remain on good terms. After Archer’s conviction was temporarily overturned in 2018, Biden expressed support for his longtime friend.
“Thank fucking god! First good news in way too long my friend. I am so happy for you,” Hunter Biden wrote Archer in November 2018, according to messages found on a copy of the former’s laptop.
But Archer voiced frustration with Biden months later, according to text messages.
“Why would they try to ruin my family and destroy my kids and no one from your family’s side step in and at least try to help me,” Archer asked in a March 2019 text. “I don’t get it. And I’m depressed. Bunch of these Asians getting in my head asking me the same.”
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