The Republican-led House Oversight Committee released on Thursday the transcript of its voluntary interview on Monday with Devon Archer, a former close friend and business partner with Hunter Biden, according to the Washington Examiner.
One primary reason behind the committee's decision to release the transcript was to clear up any public confusion about what Archer had said during the interview, given the widely disparate accounts of his testimony from Democratic and Republican committee members.
In the end, Archer's testimony was essentially a wash, politically speaking, in that while some of what he said will inevitably help further the Republican investigations of Hunter Biden's alleged influence-peddling via foreign business deals, other aspects of his testimony will undoubtedly be seized upon by Democrats as absolving President Joe Biden of any real involvement in his son's dubious ventures.
"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," Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer said in a statement on Monday.
"Joe Biden was 'the brand' that his son sold around the world to enrich the Biden family. When Joe Biden was Vice President of the United States, he joined Hunter Biden’s dinners with his foreign business associates in person or by speakerphone over 20 times," he continued. "When Burisma’s owner was facing pressure from the Ukrainian prosecutor investigating the company for corruption, Archer testified that Burisma executives asked Hunter to 'call D.C.' after a Burisma board meeting in Dubai."
"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," Comer added. "The House Committee on Oversight and Accountability will continue to follow the Bidens’ money trail and interview witnesses to determine whether foreign actors targeted the Bidens, President Biden is compromised and corrupt, and our national security is threatened."
As alluded to in Chairman Comer's statement, Archer testified that his former friend and partner Hunter peddled influence in the form of what he repeatedly called "the brand," which he clarified to mean the Biden family name and specifically then-Vice President Joe Biden.
He asserted at one point that Burisma, the Ukrainian energy firm for which both he and Hunter served as board members, "would have gone out of business if 'the brand' had not been attached to it," and testified that Biden had helped Burisma navigate troublesome investigations and pressures via various contacts in Washington D.C. -- contacts he likely only had because of his influential last name.
Archer also mentioned on several occasions how then-VP Biden would call his son Hunter in the middle of business meetings with various foreign nationals -- around 20 times over a 10-year period, and often on speakerphone so everyone in attendance could hear -- which Hunter used to help sell "the brand" with current and prospective business associates.
He also noted a handful of occasions in which then-VP Biden was physically present for dinners or other meetings with his son in which other business associates were also present.
However, coinciding with the release of the transcript, the House Oversight Democrats also issued a press release to highlight certain aspects of Archer's testimony that seemed to contradict or undermine the Republican allegations against Joe and Hunter Biden.
That includes the suggestion that the "access" Hunter Biden provided to Burisma and others was actually not directly to his father, but rather to a "D.C. team" of lawyers and lobbyists and professionals, and that with respect to the then-vice president, Hunter was leveraging the "illusion" of access and influence.
It was also noted that Archer said that then-VP Biden never discussed anything business related during his calls to his son during meetings and largely just exchanged greetings and pleasantries and made small talk about things like the weather.
Perhaps most importantly, from the perspective of Democrats, is that Archer was unable to confirm the allegations contained in an FBI document about a $10 million bribe paid to the two Bidens by the head of Burisma, of which he was entirely unaware, and seemingly suggested instead that the Ukrainian businessman had exaggerated the amount actually paid to Hunter and himself as board members.