Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
A congressman made a misleading statement about the testimony of former Hunter Biden associate Devon Archer, a newly released transcript shows.
Rep. Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.) said in a briefing with reporters that Mr. Archer told members of Congress, including Mr. Goldman, in a closed-door session that Mr. Hunter Biden sold an "illusion of access" to President Joe Biden to business partners.
That briefing happened before the transcript of the testimony was released. The transcript shows that Mr. Goldman introduced the "illusion of access" term and that Mr. Archer didn't fully agree.
"Is it fair to say that Hunter Biden was selling the illusion of access to his father?" Mr. Goldman asked.
"Yes," Mr. Archer replied.
"So when you talk about selling the brand it's not about selling access to his father. It's about selling the illusion of access to his father. Is that fair?" Mr. Goldman inquired.
"That's almost fair," Mr. Archer said.
"Why almost fair?" Mr. Goldman wondered.
"Because there are touch points and contact points that I can't deny that happened," Mr. Archer said. "There were communications."
Mr. Archer had testified earlier in the session that Mr. Hunter Biden placed Mr. Joe Biden on speaker phone 10 to 20 times while with business associates. On at least one occasion, Jonathan Li, CEO of BHR Partners, was with Mr. Hunter Biden. Mr. Joe Biden had met Mr. Li in China previously.
The talk during the calls typically centered around the weather and did not include discussion of business, according to Mr. Archer.
"They were calls to talk about the weather, and that was signal enough to be powerful," Mr. Archer said.
Mr. Joe Biden told reporters on the campaign trial in 2020, “I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.”
Mr. Joe Biden also attended multiple dinners where Mr. Hunter Biden, Mr. Archer, and other business associates were in attendance, including a 2014 dinner at Cafe Milano in Washington, Mr. Archer testified. Yelena Baturina, CEO of Russia's Inteco, was at one dinner. Mr. Hunter Biden later received a large payment from Ms. Baturina.
The "illusion of access" term was used again later, but by a Democrat whose name was redacted.
"The access to his father was an illusion of access to his father. Is that right?" the Democrat asked.
"Right. An illusion of access to his father, other than social—you know, socials," said Mr. Archer. "They had dinners together, etc."
Mr. Archer used an example featuring JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.
"It's just like when, you know, Jamie Dimon comes in to talk about an IPO. He doesn't know what the pricing's going to be or when the date's going to be. It's just a conversation, and that was never part of it," Mr. Archer said.
Mr. Goldman declined to comment.
The first-term Democrat congressman, who served on the team that successfully convinced the House to impeach then-President Donald Trump, spoke to reporters after Mr. Archer testified to the House Oversight Committee behind closed doors on July 31.
Mr. Goldman did not deny that Mr. Joe Biden advocated for the removal of then-Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin, who was investigating Burisma, but said that was not improper.
"As it pertains to Archer's testimony about Hunter, there is not a shred of evidence of a single conflict of interest of President Biden ever doing anything in connection or in relation to Hunter Biden's business ventures, other than advocating for the removal of a prosecutor general who was advantageous to Burisma," Mr. Goldman said. "The only evidence we have right now of any official action by President Biden in connection to Hunter Biden's business interests is bad for Hunter Biden's business interests."
Mr. Archer testified that the removal of Mr. Shokin would harm Burisma, but later acknowledged he was just repeating what he heard from Washington-based lobbyists.
"That's what was I was told, that it was bad for Burisma. But I don't know. I don't know if it was good or bad," Mr. Archer testified.
Both Mr. Hunter Biden and Mr. Archer sat on Burisma's board, making approximately $1 million a year each.
Mr. Shokin was removed after Mr. Joe Biden, the vice president at the time, traveled to Ukraine in 2015 and threatened to withhold a loan guarantee if Ukrainian leaders did not force Mr. Shokin out.
"If the prosecutor’s not fired, you’re not getting the money,” Mr. Joe Biden said at a public event about the interaction. “Well, son of a [expletive]. He got fired."
Mr. Shokin has said that the threat was cited when he was ousted. He said in a sworn statement that then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko asked him to resign because of “pressure from the U.S. presidential administration, in particular from Joe Biden.”
Mr. Joe Biden and his allies have said that Mr. Shokin was corrupt and that the ouster was not related to Mr. Hunter Biden's business.