(CNN) — Hunter Biden’s former business partner Devon Archer is meeting behind closed doors Monday with the House Oversight Committee on Capitol Hill, the latest development in the Republican-led investigations into the president’s son.
Archer’s testimony comes as House Republicans appear to be shifting their focus away from trying to impeach members of President Joe Biden’s Cabinet and prioritizing efforts to impeach the president himself by linking him to controversial business dealings by his son, Hunter.
And they are doing so with the apparent support of Speaker Kevin McCarthy, CNN recently reported. As a result, House investigations related to Hunter Biden are now expected to take center stage as Republicans continue to try to link the president to his son’s controversial business dealings.
Speaking to CNN in recent weeks, McCarthy signaled that Republicans have yet to verify the most salacious allegations against Biden, namely that as vice president he engaged in a bribery scheme with a foreign national in order to benefit his son’s career, an allegation the White House furiously denies.
Democrats on the Oversight Committee highlighted how Archer’s testimony did not directly connect Hunter Biden’s business to his father.
“I think we are perhaps in some ways where we left off,” Democratic Rep. Dan Goldman of New York argued, saying that there is no documentary evidence connecting the president to his son’s business dealings.
Goldman told reporters during a break in the hearing that Archer later said that Hunter Biden putting his father on speaker phone with business associates was “part of the daily conversations” between father and son, adding, “The witness was very consistent that none of those conversations ever had to do with any business dealings or transactions.”
Goldman said that it is “kind of a preposterous premise to think that a father should not say hello to the people that a son is at dinner with and that is literally all the evidence is.”
Goldman contended that President Biden’s phone conversations were not conflicts of interest because it “was not done in furtherance of” Hunter Biden’s business interests.
“We need to move on and this investigation is a complete waste of time,” Goldman argued, if House Republicans cannot produce documentary evidence linking the president to his son’s business dealings.
McCarthy has said that launching an impeachment inquiry would unleash the full power of the House to turn over critical information, mirroring an argument advanced by House Democrats when they impeached then-President Donald Trump in 2019.
McCarthy – who sources said has also been consulting with former House GOP Speaker Newt Gingrich on the issue – has warmed up to an idea of going after the president rather than members of his Cabinet. In recent weeks, he delivered his most explicit threat yet to Biden, saying House Republicans’ investigations into the Biden family’s business deals appear to be rising to the level of an impeachment inquiry.
Over the weekend, the Justice Department submitted a new request asking a judge to schedule a date for Archer to surrender to prison and begin serving out his one-year sentence resulting from a conviction in an unrelated fraud case, according to court filings. The move prompted immediate speculation among some Republicans that the Biden administration was attempting to prevent Archer from answering questions about Hunter Biden before the GOP-led committee, though in a court filing, the government explicitly requested that Archer’s sentence begin after he completes his congressional testimony.
In a statement, Archer’s attorney said his client does not believe the DOJ request is connected in any way to the upcoming closed-door interview, despite continuing to fight demands related to scheduling a surrender date. “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 on Monday,” Matthew Schwartz, an attorney for Archer, said in a statement Sunday.
“To be clear, Mr. Archer does not agree with that speculation. 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,” Schwartz added.
While House Oversight Chairman James Comer would only go as far as to call the timing of DOJ’s letter “odd” in an interview with Fox News on Sunday, the letter prompted more bombastic reactions from other House Republicans.
(Copyright (c) 2023 CNN. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)