Key Takeaways From Devon Archer’s Testimony 

Gary Varvel /
Gary Varvel /

With the much-anticipated Devon Archer testimony now in the rear-view mirror, many Americans are left wondering why Republicans aren’t making a bigger deal out of it. Democrats are gloating about the lack of revelations found during Hunter’s bestie’s testimony, insisting it vindicates President Joe Biden instead of implicating him. 

Democrats and lawyers coached Archer very carefully ahead of his testimony, warning him about lines of questioning and advising that he would intervene to stop any questions that fell outside of the narrow scope of topics Archer and his attorneys agreed to. 

True to his word, Archer’s attorney Matthew Schwartz shut down several lines of questioning, such as Hunter’s million-dollar payments from Russian oligarch Elena Baturina. The disallowed questions were especially pertinent given the timing of the payments, which occurred when Joe and Hunter Biden met her for dinner in 2014. 

Archer was also not permitted to answer questions involving Romanian businessman Gabriel Popoviciu, for whom Hunter and his partners worked. 

In addition, Schwartz carefully led his client through his answers, ensuring they were vague enough to be unbeneficial to the House Oversight Committee.  

Archer’s testimony supported claims that Hunter Biden participated in illegal foreign lobbying by failing to register his Burisma work, along with his work for other foreign companies, under the Foreign Registration Act. Archer pointed out that Hunter was actively lobbying for Burisma, noting that his friend was a “lobbyist and an expert” while adding that he carried “a very powerful name.” Archer also noted that Hunter helped Burisma’s chief executive get a visa through relationships with the government. 

Archer was apparently left in the dark on some conversations between Joe and Hunter Biden and Burisma. This, he claims, limits his ability to confidently bear witness to what transpired and the depth of Joe Biden’s involvement. While he feels that he was intentionally left out, Archer believes that questionable interaction occurred.  This added fuel to the Democrat’s defense of Biden’s limited participation in the calls, as Archer could only confirm small talk between the then-vice president and Hunter’s foreign business partners. 

Schwartz actively helped his client back away from solid answers regarding an important phone call between Hunter and Joe Biden and Burisma executives days prior to the vice president’s trip to Ukraine. Archer claims that Hunter stepped away with two Burisma executives to make the call. Archer was certain the call was made to Joe because, as he testified, Vadym Pozharsky told him so.  

After the committee took a break, Archer came back with a different approach to the phone call in question. Led through a different line of questioning, Archer revealed that he was never told who Hunter called. This lack of clarity surrounding the recipient of the call casts Joe’s involvement with Burisma under a shadow of a doubt. 

A key takeaway from Archer’s testimony was that he refused to confirm or deny if the Bidens received bribery money from Burisma. In an interesting turn, he claimed that Burisma head Mykola Zlochevsky was referring to Hunter and himself when discussing alleged payments. He did say, however, that he felt the allegation of Joe receiving bribery money was credible. He compared it to Hunter taking credit for his father’s visit to Ukraine, calling the alleged bribe a “signal.” 

While Archer denies knowing anything about the alleged $5 million payment made from Burisma to Hunter, he acknowledges that the payment could have been made to an account he was unaware of. But Archer quickly pointed out that Ukrainian officials like to brag about bribes, stating that they tend to “brag about bigger bribes than they actually give.” 

Archer did confirm the FD-1023 document’s allegations that the Bidens were paid to help Burisma identify and acquire American energy companies and gain access to the U.S. market.  

Devon Archer confirmed that it was possible that Joe Biden was looking to join one of the Chinese ventures following his vice-presidential term in the White House. This is an important revelation because it reveals that Joe Biden may have intended to work with Hunter in foreign business dealings. This correlates with a Hunter Biden email in which Hunter advised a potential Chinese venture partner to “set aside $10 million for the Big Guy,” who was confirmed by another Hunter business associate to be Joe Biden. 

Archer was well-prepared to be vague and uninformative enough to cast the importance of his testimony into question. For now, both Republicans and Democrats are claiming victory over Archer’s testimony. While some information was revealed, how much credence it lends to the investigation remains to be seen.