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ROUNDUP: Another MAGA Distraction Falls Flat

Aug 1, 2023

Yesterday, Devon Archer, a former business associate of Hunter Biden, testified behind closed doors to the House Oversight Committee as part of their ongoing investigation targeting President Biden. Archer completely exonerated President Biden, testifying that President Biden never engaged in Hunter Biden’s business dealings. That didn’t stop James Comer and Jim Jordan from playing up his appearance as bombshell testimony and continuing to lie to protect Donald Trump. Hyped up as a blockbuster moment for the MAGA investigation against President Biden, Archer’s appearance was nothing but another embarrassing failure for Comer and Jordan who still have no evidence to support their conspiracy theories. But don’t just take our word for it:


Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD): “Just a Desperate Effort To Distract.” “For months, Chairman Comer has asked America to trust that he has evidence of criminal wrongdoing by President Biden as Fox News anchors have questioned his persistent claims about that.  Now, Hunter Biden’s own business partner has stated that:  President Biden was not involved in his son’s business affairs, and that President Biden was never asked to, nor did he, take any official actions in relation to those business matters.  […] Ultimately, if you take Chairman Comer’s word that this investigation is ‘only about President Biden,’ then his obsessive fascination with the President’s son makes it obvious that his ‘priority investigation’ today is just a desperate effort to distract everyone from former President Donald Trump’s mounting criminal indictments and deepening legal morass.  Try as he might, Chairman Comer has yet again failed to produce any evidence of wrongdoing by President Biden.  Meanwhile, Trump remains a one-man crime wave.” [Rep. Jamie Raskin Press Release,  7/31/23]

Rep. Dan Goldman (D-NY): “There Was No Bribe.” “I just left the interview of Devon Archer and I was the only member who stayed for the whole time. These are the facts: 1) Archer testified that Joe Biden NEVER discussed any business with Hunter and his associates.  2) [T]here was no bribe from Burisma to Joe or Hunter.” [Twitter, Jul 7/31/23]


MSNBC: The GOP’s Latest Anti-Biden Witness Extends The Party’s Losing Streak. “If you steered clear of far-right social media accounts over the weekend, you might not know about fake developments that sparked considerable hysteria in Republican circles. Devon Archer, a former Hunter Biden business associate, was poised to testify before the GOP-led House Oversight Committee, and Republicans were convinced that the Justice Department was trying to prevent that from happening as part of a nefarious partisan plot. The claims were quickly and easily discredited, but for a short while, prominent GOP voices were apoplectic about this. […] All of this, of course, comes on the heels of a related misstep from House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer last month, which follows a series of similar setbacks. Indeed, as regular readers might recall, it was in May when Comer scheduled a highly anticipated press conference, at which the Kentucky Republican was supposed to unveil devastating information about Biden and the Democrat’s alleged corruption. It would be ‘judgment day’ for the president, the House Oversight Committee chairman said, as GOP lawmakers unveiled evidence of a scandal that would make ‘Watergate look like jaywalking.’ A humiliating dud soon followed. After months of desperate searching and thorough investigating, Comer conceded that he still didn’t have any actual evidence against the incumbent president.” [MSNBC, 8/1/23]

Salon: “Truly Stunning”: Republican Admits Hyped Biden Witness “Didn’t Know Anything” About Alleged Bribe.“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. […] That did not stop Republicans from using the testimony to push for an impeachment inquiry into President Biden. […] ‘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.’” [Salon, 8/1/23]

Raw Story: Dem Lawmaker Dumps Cold Water On GOP Claims: Hunter Biden Pal ‘Completely Absolves’ President. “A Democratic lawmaker who attended the closed-door testimony of Hunter Biden’s former business associate threw cold water on Republican suggestions that President Joe Biden accepted bribes in business dealings involving his son. House Oversight Committee chairman James Comer (R-KY) told Fox News after the hearing that ‘there’s a lot of smoke’ suggesting Biden corruption, but Rep. Dan Goldman (D-NY) strongly disputed the Kentucky Republican’s claims during an appearance Tuesday on MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe.’ ‘[Devon Archer] was Hunter Biden’s business partner from 2013 to 2016, and he was most notably on the board of Burisma with Hunter Biden,’ Goodman said. ‘What he testified to yesterday completely absolves Joe Biden of any involvement in Hunter Biden’s business world. Notwithstanding whatever alleged smoke chairman Comer says there is, the witness testimony was very clear that Joe Biden was not involved in any of their business dealings. Joe Biden got no benefit, Joe Biden did not change any of his actions for the benefit of his son in any way, shape or form. That Hunter may have, quote, promoted the illusion of influence on his father, but the witness was very clear, it was an illusion. There was no actual influence.’” [Raw Story, 8/1/23]

New York Times: Biden Spoke With Son’s Associates, but Not About Business, Former Partner Says. “However, in nearly five hours of closed-door testimony to the House Oversight Committee, Devon Archer, the former partner, asserted that the elder Mr. Biden was not party to any of his son’s business deals and that Hunter Biden had tried to sell the illusion that he was providing access to his powerful father when he was not, according to Democrats on the panel… ‘The witness was very, very consistent that none of those conversations ever had to do with any business dealings or transactions,’ said Representative Dan Goldman, Democrat of New York and a member of the Oversight Committee who participated in the interview. ‘They were purely what he called ‘casual conversation.’” [New York Times, 7/31/23]

CNN: Former Business Partner Says Hunter Biden Sold ‘Illusion’ Of Access To Joe Biden, Source Says. “Devon Archer told the House Oversight Committee on Monday that his former business partner, Hunter Biden, was selling the ‘illusion’ of access to his father, according to a source familiar with the closed-door interview, the latest development in the Republican-led congressional investigations into the president’s son. The source also reiterated that Archer provided no evidence connecting President Joe Biden to any of his son’s foreign business dealings.” [CNN, 7/31/23]

Axios: Hunter Biden Associate Describes “Illusion Of Access”. “Archer, who was convicted of fraud in 2018, testified that Hunter put his father on the phone with friends and business associates roughly 20 times over 10 years. But Archer ‘repeated over and over and over again that President Biden never discussed any business dealings or interests with Hunter or anyone else,’ Goldman told reporters after the hours-long transcribed interview… Archer testified that he knew nothing about the alleged $5 million bribes paid to the Biden family from a Burisma executive, as was claimed in an unverified FBI document touted and released by Republicans, according to one source familiar.” [Axios, 7/31/23]

Time Magazine: Hunter Biden Sold ‘Illusion’ of Access to His Father, Former Associate Testifies. “Over the years, Hunter Biden had traded on the ‘illusion’ of influence and his famous father’s brand name, but had not been able to influence him, Archer testified, according to Rep. Dan Goldman, a Democrat from New York who sat through the entirety of Archer’s recorded interview on Monday. ‘Hunter wanted to give off the appearance of having access to his father,’ Goldman tells TIME. Monday’s interview was the latest turn in an intense effort by Republicans in Congress to dig into how Hunter Biden used his father’s famous name to advance his own interests. They have so far have failed [sic] to find evidence that Joe Biden himself ever benefited from his son’s dealings.” [Time Magazine, 7/31/23]

AP News: Hunter Biden Sold ‘Illusion Of Access’ To His Father, Former Business Partner Tells Congress. “New York Rep. Dan Goldman, who was representing Democrats inside the room, told reporters after the interview that Archer testified that Hunter sold the ‘illusion of access’ to his father by taking credit for things his father did as vice president that he had no part in.” [AP News, 7/31/23]

Reuters: Hunter Biden associate described ‘illusion of access’ to Joe, Democratic lawmaker says. “A witness in a Republican-led congressional probe said on Monday that Hunter Biden sought to create an “illusion of access” to his father Joe Biden while doing business in Ukraine but that the then-vice president played no role in any deals, according to a Democratic lawmaker… Democratic Representative Dan Goldman, who attended the interview, told reporters Archer provided no evidence of wrongdoing by the elder Biden… ‘He had to give the illusion of access to his father and he tried to get credit for things that Mr. Archer testified Hunter had nothing to do with,’ Goldman said.” [Reuters, 7/31/23]

The Hill: House Democrat Calls On Comer To Release Transcript Of Devon Archer Testimony. “CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked Rep. Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.) on ‘Anderson Cooper 360’ what his reaction was to Comer’s statement after the testimony that said Biden ‘lied to the American people when he said he had no knowledge about his son’s business dealings and was not involved.’ Goldman pushed back on Comer’s statement, saying he did not think it was an ‘accurate description.’… ‘And I would urge Chairman Comer rather than to continue to send out misinformation about what transpired in the transcribed interview, to actually put out the transcript, which he can do as soon as he wants,’ Goldman said. ‘Because I think anyone who reads that transcript and I was there, so I can tell you what happened, would come away from that believing that Joe Biden had nothing to do with Hunter Biden’s business dealings, derive no benefit from it received no money and did not know about anything that Hunter Biden was doing, nor did he ever discuss it with Hunter Biden or the business associates,’ he continued.” [The Hill, 7/31/23]

USA Today: Joe Biden Greeted Hunter Biden’s Associates And Clients On Phone, But Wasn’t Involved In Business, Witness Says. “But Archer still argued that Joe Biden wasn’t involved in their financial dealings, despite the contacts… Rep. Dan Goldman, D-N.Y., told reporters that Archer’s testimony did not indicate Joe Biden was involved in his son’s business dealings. Goldman said that Archer testified Hunter Biden would often put his father on speaker phone with whomever he happened to have dinner with − whether it was a business associate or a friend. However, ‘the witness was very, very consistent that none of those conversations ever had to do with any business dealings or transactions,’ Goldman said.” [USA Today, 7/31/23]