Hunter Biden gave the impression to executives at Ukrainian energy company Burisma that he had leverage because of his father, Joe Biden, and sold those family ties as part of his business brand, a witness told congressional investigators.
In a transcript from a closed-door interview released by the Republican-controlled House Oversight Committee on Thursday, former Burisma board member Devon Archer said Hunter projected an “illusion” of access to power when he was at the company nearly a decade ago and his father was U.S. vice president.
“He was getting paid a lot of money, and I think, you know, he wanted to show value,” Archer told the committee on Monday.
“Given the brand, I think he would look to, you know, to get the leverage from it,” he said. “A lot of it’s about opening doors … globally in D.C. … and then obviously having those doors opened … sent the right signals.”
House Republicans say Archer’s interview supports unproven claims that President Joe Biden, Hunter Biden and other family members have engaged in financial misconduct, allegations the White House denies.
Democrats contend that Republicans are chasing long-discredited bribery allegations.
Archer told investigators Hunter Biden spoke with his father daily and had him talk to associates and others by speakerphone about 20 times over 10 years. But he said the conversations did not involve any business dealings, and that he was not aware of any wrongdoing by the elder Biden.
At one point, Archer told investigators Hunter Biden “called his dad” when Burisma executives appealed for “D.C. help.” But Archer added he had only heard about a call from another Burisma official, who said “we called D.C.”
Allies of former President Donald Trump, angered by the former president’s three criminal indictments, have stepped up calls to begin an impeachment inquiry against the president based on the congressional probe. Some have also introduced legislation to expunge Trump’s two impeachments.
The transcripts were released hours before Trump, the leading 2024 Republican presidential candidate, appeared in court on charges he sought to overturn his 2020 election loss to Biden.
Trump was impeached in 2019 over his alleged efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens and help him win reelection. He was impeached a second time in 2021 for allegedly inciting the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by his supporters. He was acquitted by the Senate both times.