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Hunter Biden Associate Described Casual Calls with Joe, Democratic Lawmaker Says

Devon Archer, a former Hunter Biden business associate, arrives for a deposition before the House Oversight and Accountability Committee at the O'Neill House Office Building in Washington, July 31, 2023.
Devon Archer, a former Hunter Biden business associate, arrives for a deposition before the House Oversight and Accountability Committee at the O'Neill House Office Building in Washington, July 31, 2023.

A witness in the Republican-led probe of U.S. President Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden on Monday said the elder Biden spoke multiple times to his son's associates but did not talk about business deals, according to a Democratic lawmaker.

Former Hunter Biden associate Devon Archer appeared for a closed-door interview led by staff from the U.S. House of Representatives Oversight Committee, which Republican lawmakers hoped would shed light on unproven allegations that Biden was directly involved in his son's business dealings in Ukraine.

But Democratic Representative Dan Goldman, who attended the interview, told reporters that Archer provided no evidence of wrongdoing by the elder Biden. The inquiry is focused on the years when Biden was vice president under President Barack Obama, from 2009 to 2017.

"There is no evidence that anyone other than Hunter Biden received any money in connection with the business transactions with Devon Archer," Goldman said.

Republican Representative Jim Jordan, a leading panel member who also chairs the House Judiciary Committee, told reporters that the session was productive. He declined further comment.

Goldman said Archer told investigators that Hunter Biden spoke with his father daily while serving on the board of the Ukraine energy company Burisma and had the then-vice president talk to business associates and others by speaker phone about 20 times over 10 years.

Republicans had expected Archer's description of the phone calls to provide incriminating evidence against Joe Biden.

Republican Representative Andy Biggs, who has already co-sponsored legislation to impeach President Biden, said Archer's testimony implicated the president.

"Archer talked about the 'big guy' and how Hunter Biden always said, 'We need to talk to my guy,'" Biggs told reporters. "I think we should do an impeachment inquiry."

But Goldman said, "It was all casual conversation, niceties about the weather, what's going on. There wasn't a single conversation about any of the business dealings that Hunter had."

House Republicans allege that Hunter Biden used his father's status as vice president in an influence peddling scheme while he was at Burisma nearly a decade ago.

The White House has said Joe Biden was never in business with his son.

Burisma played a central role in Trump's 2019 impeachment over his alleged efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens and help him win re-election. A Republican-majority Senate later acquitted Trump.

The House investigation has intensified since Trump's federal indictment in June.

Claims of Biden wrongdoing in Ukraine have also been contradicted by former Trump insider Lev Parnas, who helped one-time Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani try to dig up damaging information about the Bidens in Ukraine.

The House Oversight Committee has heard testimony from two Internal Revenue Service whistleblowers who say their investigation of Hunter Biden was stymied by the U.S. Justice Department, though the Trump-appointed prosecutor in that case has denied that his work was interfered with.

Biden's son appeared in court last week amid expectations that he would plead guilty to two tax charges and avoid a gun charge. But the judge in the case said she could not accept the plea agreement with prosecutors.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has warned that Republicans could begin an impeachment inquiry against President Biden if the federal agencies fail to cooperate with oversight committees probing his administration and family's business dealings.

Trump, the leading 2024 Republican presidential candidate, went a step further this weekend at a rally in Pennsylvania.

He called on Republicans to withhold military aid to Ukraine until the Justice Department, FBI and IRS "hand over every scrap of evidence they have on the Biden crime family's corrupt business dealings."

"Any Republican that doesn't act on Democrat fraud should be immediately primaried. And get out. Out!" Trump said.

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