House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer Sunday accused federal prosecutors of “obstruction of justice” after federal officials in Manhattan Saturday filed a letter requesting a date for former Hunter Biden partner Devon Archer to start his prison sentence — just two days before his testimony on the business activities of his ex-partner and his father, President Joe Biden.
“This is another example of the weaponization of the Department of Justice,” the Kentucky Republican said on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”
He added that the lengths that Biden’s legal team has gone to “coordinate with the Department of Justice and certainly coordinate with the Democrats on the House Oversight Committee to encourage people not to cooperate without investigation, to encourage Treasury not to let us have access to those suspicious activity reports, it’s very troubling.”
And the letter, said Comer, is “another violation of the law.”
“This is obstruction of justice, but nevertheless, we’re going to continue to move forward and try to present the American people with the facts and the truth about this president and his family.”
The federal prosecutors’ request is for Archer to start serving his one-year sentence on two felony counts from 2018 for his role with two co-defendants in a conspiracy with a bond scheme to defraud a Native American tribal entity of $60 million.
The conspiracy involved the issuance of bonds by the tribal entity and then the sale of those bonds through “fraudulent and deceptive means,” according to the Department of Justice.
Hunter Biden and Archer served together on the board of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company. They were also the co-founders of investment and advisory firm Rosemont Seneca Partners along with Christopher Heinz, the stepson of now-Biden climate czar John Kerry. Heinz and Biden were not implicated in the Native American bond case.
Archer is expected to testify that the president, while serving as vice president, was involved in communications involving his son and foreign interests.
Archer faces one year and one day in prison and has been ordered to pay financial penalties of $15 million and over $43 million in restitution, but has been fighting the sentence and fine for almost four years.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last Tuesday affirmed Archer’s 2018 conviction on the conspiracy charges, reports The New York Post.
“The Department of Justice is trying to nudge the judge to go ahead and sentence Devon Archer for something unrelated to what we’re going to be talking to him about tomorrow,” Comer said Sunday.
“It’s odd that it was issued on a Saturday, and it’s odd that it’s right before he’s scheduled to come in to have an opportunity to speak in front of the House Oversight Committee and tell the American people the truth about what really went on with Burisma,” he added.
Archer’s attorney, Matthew Schwartz, said he will file a formal response to the request from the U.S. Attorney’s Office by Wednesday and that his client would still testify to the House committee as planned.
However, Schwartz, like Comer, called the letter an intimidation tactic.
“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 given to Politico.
“To be clear, Mr. Archer does not agree with that speculation,” Schwartz 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.”