By Tom Ozimek
Devon Archer, former business partner of President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden, told Tucker Carlson in a newly published interview that the president’s claim of having no involvement in his son’s business dealings is “categorically false.”
While on the campaign trail, then-presidential candidate Mr. Joe Biden insisted that he had no role whatsoever in his son’s business dealings. But the foundation of that contention has been shaken—first by the revelations of the contents of Mr. Hunter Biden’s laptop, then by statements made by his former business associate Tony Bobulinski, and now the explosive disclosures made by Mr. Archer.
On Monday, Mr. Archer gave a closed-door interview to members of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, in which he said the president spoke to his son’s business associates on multiple occasions. While Republicans saw this as proof that the president lied when he denied involvement in his son’s business dealings, the president’s supporters insisted the conversations amounted to “casual” small talk and that, at most, Mr. Hunter Biden had peddled the “illusion of access” to his father rather than the real deal.
Following his testimony before the congressional panel, Mr. Archer sat down for an interview with Mr. Carlson, the latest installment of which was released on Aug. 4. In it, Mr. Carlson noted that much of the spin applied to Mr. Archer’s closed-door testimony before lawmakers earlier in the week has basically been that “there’s no corruption here at all, this is totally normal, Joe Biden had no role whatsoever in his son’s business or knowledge of it.”
“That seems false,” Mr. Carlson mused.
“Yeah, that’s categorically false,” Mr. Archer stated emphatically, before providing more nuance.
“He was aware of Hunter’s business, he met with Hunter’s business partners,” Mr. Archer said. He insisted that the claim that the president was in no way involved in his son’s business affairs is “not factually right.”
Still, much like he did during Monday’s testimony, Mr. Archer provided some caveats.
“In the same breath, there’s no … I don’t think Joe Biden has looked at a balance sheet or a cap table or what have you or any financial document probably ever,” Mr. Archer added, suggesting that the president’s involvement in Hunter Biden’s business affairs had a more representative role rather than hands on.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Mr. Archer’s latest remarks that the president’s claim of no involvement in Hunter Biden’s business affairs is “categorically false.”
‘Illusion of Access’
Republicans saw Mr. Archer’s panel testimony on July 31 as smoking gun evidence that the president lied about his alleged involvement in his son’s business affairs.
“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,” House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) said at a press briefing on Monday.
“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.
By contrast, the president’s Democrat allies sought to downplay Mr. Archer’s testimony.
Rep. Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.) told reporters after the panel interviewed Mr. Archer that the president had engaged in “casual conversation” with his son’s business associates “20 times over the course of a 10-year relationship” between Mr. Archer and Mr. Hunter Biden.
Mr. Goldman insisted that the president’s comments during these conversations were no more than greetings and small talk, amounting to “casual conversation, niceties, the weather, what’s going on.”
He said that “there wasn’t a single conversation about any of the business dealings.”
“I think we are perhaps in some ways where we left off,” Mr. Goldman continued. “There’s no connection in any bank records and any recollection and any testimony between President Biden and his son Hunter’s business dealings.”
Mr. Goldman said Mr. Hunter Biden spoke with his father on a daily basis and would sometimes put him on speakerphone to “say hello to whoever he happened to be caught at dinner with.”
Mr. Hunter Biden at most sold the “illusion of access” to Mr. Joe Biden, according to Mr. Goldman.
“Is it fair to say that Hunter Biden was selling the illusion of access to his father?” Mr. Goldman asked, per the transcript.
“Yes,” Mr. Archer replied.
“So when you talk about selling the brand it’s not about selling access to his father. It’s about selling the illusion of access to his father. Is that fair?” Mr. Goldman asked.
“That’s almost fair,” Mr. Archer replied.
“Why almost fair?” Mr. Goldman said.
“Because there are touch points and contact points that I can’t deny that happened,” Mr. Archer replied. “There were communications.”
‘Abuse of Soft Power’
In an earlier segment of Mr. Carlson’s interview with Mr. Archer, the former business partner of Mr. Hunter Biden explained that the pair had embarked on a business venture together meant to provide clients with advice on navigating government regulations and pathways to raise capital.
While Mr. Hunter Biden was no expert in the regulatory landscape, he was well-connected and knew who to call to get answers or get things done.
“He was the guy who was an expert in knowing the guy,” Mr. Archer said. “Well, he knew a lot of people but obviously there was his brother, his father, he knew his father’s siblings.”
Mr. Hunter Biden had a career in Washington and “brought that know-how and understanding of D.C., and ultimately the Biden brand,” Mr. Archer said.
Mr. Archer reiterated what he told the Congressional panel earlier in the week, namely that he heard then-Vice President Joe Biden being put on speakerphone about 20 times during his son’s meetings with business associates.
Looking back at all this, Mr. Archer told Mr. Carlson that Mr. Hunter Biden putting his father on speakerphone during business dinners was inappropriate.
“In the rear view, it’s an abuse of soft power, I’d say,” Mr. Archer said.
The Epoch Times earlier reached out to Mr. Hunter Biden’s legal team for comment on Mr. Archer’s characterization of the events.
Catherine Yang and Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.