An attorney for ex-Hunter Biden business partner Devon Archer and the Justice Department have both tried to shut down “speculation” that a DOJ letter sent to a federal judge Saturday was meant to keep Archer from giving information about the first son’s business interests to the House Oversight Committee Monday morning.
Matthew Schwartz, Archer’s lawyer, denied any connection between the request by Manhattan federal prosecutors for Judge Ronnie Abrams to set a date for Archer to start his a year and a day sentence in an unrelated fraud case and the timing of the testimony.
“We are aware of speculation that the Department of Justice’s weekend request to have Mr. Archer report to prison is an attempt by the Biden administration to intimidate him in advance of his meeting with the House Oversight Committee,” Schwartz said in a statement to Politico Sunday.
“To be clear, Mr. Archer does not agree with that speculation,” he added. “In any case, Mr. Archer will do what he has planned to do all along, which is to show up on Monday and to honestly answer the questions that are put to him by the Congressional investigators.
The Justice Department similarly denied that its letter, which caused an uproar among House Republicans this weekend, was seeking Archer’s surrender “before his Congressional testimony.”
In the letter to Judge Abrams obtained by The Post, Manhattan US Attorney Damian Williams wrote: “As the Court knows, to surrender and commence his sentence of imprisonment, the defendant first must be designated to a federal facility by the Bureau of Prisons—a process that can take several weeks or months after the Court sets a surrender date.”
“Nonetheless, for the avoidance of all doubt, the Government requests that any surrender date, should the Court order one, be scheduled to occur after the defendant’s Congressional testimony is completed,” Williams added.
Schwartz previously said that it was “premature” to have the judge set a date for his client’s incarceration before he considers his appeal options. He was expected to file a formal response to the prosecutors’ letter by Wednesday.
Archer is expected to testify before the House panel that Hunter Biden would get his father, then serving as vice president, on the phone during meetings with his overseas business partners, as The Post exclusively reported last week.
The elder Biden had claimed for years that “I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealing.” In recent weeks, the White House adopted the line that the president “was never in business with his son.”
Archer was convicted in 2018 of securities fraud for swindling the Oglala Sioux Indian tribe as part of a scheme that involved the sale of bonds. Hunter Biden played no role in that venture.
Archer’s conviction was overturned later that year — but the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated it in 2020 and rejected his appeal earlier this year.
Despite Archer’s camp and the DOJ denying any attempt at “intimidation,” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) accused federal prosecutors of “obstructing a congressional investigation” — and threatened to haul them before the House Judiciary Committee.
“If Devin Archer isn’t in the witness chair Monday, we better haul every SOB at the DOJ before congress EVERY DAY to make them pay for this,” he tweeted.
Gaetz even offered to return to Washington DC early from Congress’ summer recess.
“Lmk – I’ll come back to Washington tomorrow to do this,” he tweeted. “Archer is in that chair or [United States Attorney General Merrick] Garland is.”
“Yield me the time and let me ask the questions,” he continued. “I’ll handle it from there.”
Several of Gartz’s GOP cohorts on the House Judiciary Committee were quick to jump on the anti-DOJ bandwagon, including Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.), Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), Rep. Harriet Hageman (R-Wyo.), and Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC), who tweeted: “Subpoenas should fly tomorrow.”
Hunter Biden and Archer both served on the board of Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Holdings. They also co-founded the investment firm Rosemont Seneca along with John Kerry’s stepson, Christopher Heinz.
Burisma has been at the heart of House Republicans’ months-long investigation into the Biden family’s finances.