“Truly stunning”: Republican admits hyped Biden witness “didn’t know anything” about alleged bribe

Democrats say former Hunter Biden business partner Devon Archer "unequivocally" debunked key GOP claims

By Igor Derysh

Managing Editor

Published August 1, 2023 8:48AM (EDT)

U.S. Rep. James Comer (R-KY), Chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, delivers remarks during a hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building on February 01, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
U.S. Rep. James Comer (R-KY), Chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, delivers remarks during a hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building on February 01, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., acknowledged that the Republicans' widely-hyped witness in their probe of the Biden family's business dealings "didn't know anything" about unverified allegations that President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden had accepted millions in bribes.

House Oversight Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., and fellow Republicans had hyped a closed-door session with former Hunter Biden business partner Devon Archer as part of their growing Biden probe that has yielded no actual proof.

Archer during the nearly five-hour testimony said that President Biden was not party to any of his son's business deals and that Hunter had merely tried to sell the illusion that he was providing access to his father, Democrats on the panel said according to The New York Times.

Archer also said President Biden met and spoke with his son's international business associates several times as Hunter Biden tried to boost his business but did not discuss any business. He said Hunter Biden put his father on speakerphone to talk to business partners about 20 times over a decade, members of the panel told the Times.

Comer said that Archer testified that President Biden was put on the phone to sell the family "brand."

"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," Comer said in a statement.

The Times noted that Archer's testimony also underscored that Biden falsely claimed during the 2020 campaign that no one in his family received money from China even though Hunter and his business partners received millions from a Chinese firm. He also repeatedly claimed in 2019 that he had "never discussed" his son's business dealings.

Legal experts were unimpressed with the findings.

"That's the best they got?" tweeted national security attorney Bradley Moss.

Democrats on the panel say Archer testified that President Biden's interactions were brief and casual and focused on topics like the weather.

Archer "was unequivocal and stated very clearly that they never discussed any business on that phone conversations that were niceties. And there was a hello. And there was talk about the weather or whatever it was, but it was never any business," Rep. Dan Goldman, D-N.Y., told reporters.

Goldman added that Archer testified that Biden spoke to his son frequently after his other son Beau died in 2015.

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"The witness describes in vivid detail about how devastating that was to both Hunter Biden and to Joe Biden, and how their communications picked up dramatically in the aftermath," he said. "Because Joe Biden was calling his son to check on him and Hunter Biden was calling his dad to check on him. It had nothing to do with business. And that is the sum and substance of what the testimony was."

Goldman also said that Archer "categorically" denied the Republicans' bribe allegation.

Biggs, who is pushing for an impeachment inquiry, also acknowledged to reporters that Archer had no information on the unverified claims from an anonymous informant that the Bidens accepted bribes.

"He didn't know anything about it," Biggs told reporters after the session.

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That did not stop Republicans from using the testimony to push for an impeachment inquiry into President Biden.

"When Congress moved toward impeachment with Richard Nixon, it was because they had proof that Richard Nixon lied," Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., said after the interview. "When Congress moved toward to impeachment with Bill Clinton, it was because they had proof that Bill Clinton had lied about sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky. Today, with Devon Archer's testimony, we have proof that Joe Biden has lied."

But the White House fired back, arguing that the GOP's own witness had debunked their core allegations.

"It appears that the House Republicans' own much-hyped witness today testified that he never heard of President Biden discussing business with his son or his son's associates, or doing anything wrong," White House spokesman Ian Sams said in a statement to Mediaite. "House Republicans keep promising bombshell evidence to support their ridiculous attacks against the President, but time after time, they keep failing to produce any. In fact, even their own witnesses appear to be debunking their allegations. Instead of continuing to waste time and resources on this evidence-free wild goose chase, House Republicans should drop these stunts and work with the President on the issues that actually impact Americans' daily lives, like continuing to lower costs, create jobs, and strengthen health care."

Goldman on Monday night said the investigation "needs to end now because what we're doing is badgering a private citizen, and there's no legitimate legislative purpose at all."

"It's truly stunning to me," he told CNN. "This is the taxpayer-funded defense and political arm of Donald Trump."

By Igor Derysh

Igor Derysh is Salon's managing editor. His work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald and Baltimore Sun.

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Aggregate Donald Trump Hunter Biden James Comer Joe Biden Politics