Featured Image
 Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

(LifeSiteNews) — A former business associate of U.S. President Joe Biden’s son Hunter reportedly told lawmakers during a Monday interview that Hunter called his father during dozens of overseas business dealings, bolstering Republicans’ claims the Biden family has engaged in high-level influence peddling and corruption.

The interview came just days after the DOJ sent a letter calling to set a date for the former associate to begin serving a jail sentence for a prior conviction, sparking rumors of an “intimidation” effort immediately before the hearing.

Devon Archer, 49, a former business associate and close friend of Hunter Biden, sat down with the House Oversight Committee for a roughly four-hour interview behind closed doors on Monday.

According to Republican lawmakers, the former colleague stated that Joe Biden was placed on speakerphone during his son’s overseas meetings on many occasions. Biden has previously claimed that he never spoke to his son about his business deals.

“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,” said House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer in a Monday statement.

“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,” the House Oversight Committee tweeted Monday.

Democrat Rep. Dan Goldman also confirmed that Archer said Hunter frequently put his father on the phone during business meetings. However, Goldman said that, according to Archer, the calls were simply “casual conversations” that didn’t relate to business or financial arrangements.

The New York Post noted that one of the dinners during which the elder Biden was contacted was a meeting in China with investment company BHR, which Hunter co-founded in 2013 after introducing Joe to CEO Jonathan Li.

According to the House Oversight Committee, Archer also spoke about Hunter and Joe’s involvement with Ukrainian oil and gas company Burisma Holdings.

“Devon Archer testified that the value of adding Hunter Biden to Burisma’s board was ‘the brand’ and confirmed that then-Vice President Joe Biden was ‘the brand’ and that the 20 phone calls were to sell ‘the brand,’” the lawmakers said, adding that Archer reportedly “admitted” that the Ukrainian company would have folded were it not for the assistance of the Biden family.

RELATED: Biden snaps at NY Post reporter asking about foreign bribery allegations: ‘Dumb question’

As LifeSiteNews has previously reported, Republicans are investigating allegations that President Biden and his scandal-ridden son engaged in a multimillion-dollar bribery scheme with Burisma while Biden was vice president under Barack Obama.

For his part, Hunter Biden was appointed to Burisma’s board of directors despite lacking expertise or education in the field after Archer reportedly recommended him to the company. 

A newly released FBI whistleblower form containing statements from a trusted source alleged that, according to Burisma co-founder Mykola Zlochevsky, Hunter was given the board seat to “protect us, through his dad, from all kinds of problems.”

The whistleblower said Zlochevsky told him that the younger Biden wasn’t intelligent but that he was kept on the board “so everything will be okay.”

The confidential source also broadly suggested that Burisma made multimillion-dollar payments to several members of the Biden family amid an investigation then underway by Ukraine’s prosecutor general Viktor Shokin.

Joe Biden would later publicly acknowledge that he threatened to withhold $1 billion in aid from Ukraine if they didn’t fire Shokin. Shokin was fired shortly thereafter. Other reports claim that Biden involved himself in Shokin’s ouster because the Ukrainian prosecutor had failed to investigate corruption in the country.

READ: Sen. Grassley publishes unclassified document alleging Biden bribery scheme in Ukraine

Chris Swecker, who headed up the FBI’s criminal investigations division from 2004 to 2006, told Fox News after Archer’s interview that the alleged phone calls to Joe Biden during business meetings looked like the sort of “stream of services” activities he commonly witnessed in bribery cases, the New York Post noted.

“They were selling access,” Swecker said. “All he had to do [was,] they do the big setup and then they put Joe Biden on the phone and just this shows that they have access. ‘Here he is, he’s on the phone. I just told you, you know, we can do things for you. And there he is.’”

“So, I mean, that matches up perfectly, then you match it up with the prosecutor getting fired,” he continued. “The prosecutor is going after Burisma right within that same timeframe. Boy, you’re really close to a slam dunk in my opinion.”

President Biden has vehemently denied allegations of involvement in his son’s business dealings, despite the fact that evidence suggests he spoke to his son regarding his involvement with Chinese oil company CEFC on at least one occasion. Moreover, a message reportedly sent in 2017 by the younger Biden to a Chinese associate appeared to imply that Joe was directly involved in his son’s business affairs. 

Meanwhile, Archer’s interview with the House Oversight Committee came after prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York sent a letter to trial judge Ronnie Abrams on Saturday asking to set a date for Archer to begin serving a two-year jail sentence for engaging in conspiracy to defraud a Native American tribe.

The timing of the letter sparked rumors the Biden administration’s DOJ was attempting to intimidate Archer ahead of his Monday testimony, Politico reported. 

Archer’s attorney, Matthew Schwartz, attempted to shoot down the “speculation” in a Saturday statement, noting that the Monday House Oversight Committee interview would go forward as planned.

“To be clear, Mr. Archer does not agree with that speculation,” he said. “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.”