Hunter Biden’s ex-business partner confirmed during his recent closed-door interview with the House Oversight Committee that then-Vice President Joe Biden was at the infamous spring 2015 dinner with son Hunter’s foreign business associates, despite the Biden campaign repeatedly saying Biden was never there.
Devon Archer told investigators that the elder Biden ‘had dinner’ with him and several others, including ‘Vadym P. from Burisma.’ When Biden arrived, Archer said Biden ‘shook everybody’s hand’ and joined their conversation.
In 2020, the New York Post reported an explosive story about Hunter Biden introducing his then-vice president father to a top executive at Ukrainian energy firm Burisma, where Hunter had served on its board and reportedly collected more than $50,000 per month.
The story set off a firestorm and rejections from Biden’s close aides. Andrew Bates, who is now a White House spokesperson but at the time worked on the communication team of Biden’s 2020 campaign, roundly denied the meeting ever happened.
Bates told Politico the campaign ‘reviewed Joe Biden’s official schedules from the time, and no meeting, as alleged by the New York Post, ever took place.’
Likewise, in that same Politico article, which centered around Biden’s campaign ‘punching back’ against the Post’s story, other top Biden advisers flatly rejected that Biden met the Burisma executive. Michael Carpenter, who worked for Biden during the alleged encounter and was being paid more $200,000 at the Penn Biden Center, chalked it up as a Russian disinformation campaign.
‘This is a Russian disinformation operation,’ said Carpenter, who now acts as the U.S. permanent representative to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. ‘I’m very comfortable saying that.’
The Washington Post also published a fact-check piece in 2021 that referenced pushback from an unnamed ‘campaign spokesman for Joe Biden’ and ‘officials who worked for [Biden].’ It is unclear whether this spokesperson was also Bates.
‘A campaign spokesman for Joe Biden had said a review of Biden’s schedule for that day found no record of any such meeting. Officials who worked for him in 2015 also told The Fact Checker that no such meeting took place,’ the Washington Post piece reported.
The piece went on to say that a ‘White House individual with knowledge of Joe Biden’s schedules said the decision to see Father Alex [Alex Karloutsos]’ at the dinner was made late that day after the schedule was completed and that the decision to attend ‘was made that evening.’
However, an email that was widely reported a couple of years ago shows that Hunter Biden told Karloutsos’ son three weeks before the dinner on March 26, 2015, that Hunter’s ‘dad will be there, but keep that [between] us for now.’
Another guest at the dinner told The Washington Post that Biden ‘didn’t even sit down’ and that he ‘was not part of the dinner or part of the dinner discussion.’
But Archer, a longtime Hunter Biden business partner and friend, contradicted those claims and said that then-Vice President Biden was in attendance and was part of the dinner. Fox News Digital obtained the more than 140-page transcript of Archer’s interview before the House Oversight Committee on Monday, which transpired behind closed doors.
The transcript shows that investigators had asked Archer about the dinner mentioned in the New York Post report, which happened at Washington, D.C.’s, upscale restaurant Cafe Milano in 2015. The story revolved around an April 2015 email from Burisma board adviser Vadym Pozharskyi, who had written to Hunter Biden the day after the dinner to thank him for inviting him to the nation’s capital and allowing him to meet his father and spend ‘some time together.’
‘It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure,’ Pozharskyi added.
‘As we spoke yesterday evening, would be great to meet today for a quick coffee,’ he continued. ‘What do you think? I could come to you [sic] office somewhere around noon or so, before or on my way to airport.’
According to the transcript from Monday, congressional investigators asked Archer who attended that spring 2015 dinner.
‘That dinner was — I think we went over it before, but it was Vadym, Hunter, Joe, myself, Karim Massimov, a Greek Orthodox priest, maybe someone from World Food Programme,’ Archer said.
‘And what did Joe do at that dinner? Did he have dinner? How long was he there?’ the congressional investigator asked Archer.
‘He had dinner. He had dinner,’ Archer responded. ‘And there was — on that one, I believe the first one was, like, a birthday dinner, and then the second was — I think we were supposed to talk about the World Food Programme. So, there was some talk about that.’
Pozharskyi made headlines last month after Fox News Digital reported about his correspondence with Hunter Biden, Archer and longtime business partner Eric Schwerin months after the dinner about the ‘ultimate purpose’ of his involvement with the Ukrainian energy company.
‘My only concern is for us to be on the same page re our final goals,’ Pozharskyi wrote. ‘With this in mind, I would like us to formulate a list of deliverables, including, but not limited to: a concrete course of actions, incl. meetings/communications resulting in high-ranking US officials in Ukraine (US Ambassador) and in US publicly or in private communication/comment expressing their ‘positive opinion’ and support of Nikolay/Burisma to the highest level of decision makers here in Ukraine :President of Ukraine, president Chief of staff, Prosecutor General, etc.’
‘The scope of work should also include organization of a visit of a number of widely recognized and influential current and/or former US policy-makers to Ukraine in November aiming to conduct meetings with and bring positive signal/message and support on Nikolay’s issue to the Ukrainian top officials above with the ultimate purpose to close down for any cases/pursuits against Nikolay in Ukraine,’ he continued.
‘Looking forward to getting started on this,’ Hunter Biden replied.
A month before the dinner, Hunter and Archer discussed who they were going to invite to the dinner on April 16, 2015. The list included multiple guests, including ‘Pozharskyi,’ who was listed as ‘Vadim’ and ‘Vadym.’ Both spellings were frequently used in their correspondence.
In the email chain, Archer followed up to Hunter’s guest list and said, ‘Obviously save a seat for your guy,’ which appears to be a reference to Biden. During the interview with Archer, he acknowledged that Hunter would refer to his dad as ‘my guy.’ However, it is unclear whether this specific reference from Archer is about the elder Biden.
Bates’ quote to Politico isn’t the first time that he has pushed a false narrative. Fox News Digital previously reported that he was implicated in the effort to discredit Hunter Biden’s laptop as Russian disinformation during the 2020 presidential election.
According to a report earlier this year by the House Weaponization Subcommittee, led by Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, former CIA senior adviser Nick Shapiro drafted a media pitch for the now-discredited letter signed by 51 former intelligence officials that tried to paint the laptop at the center of the New York Post’s bombshell story as a Russian operation in October 2020.
‘Giving this to you exclusively first if you guys want to run with it,’ Shapiro wrote in his pitch to the media outlets, according to the email on Oct. 19, 2020. ‘You can also use this on the record from me Nick Shapiro, describing what this is: ‘A large group of former career intelligence officers, many specializing in Russia, joined by a group of former intelligence community leaders, are all saying that they believe the Russians were somehow involved here.’’
He would then forward the letter to Bates, who was on the Biden campaign at the time, adding, ‘This is what I gave them.’
After Politico published the media pitch, Bates and other top Biden campaign officials, including former press secretary Jen Psaki, tweeted out the narrative that has since been debunked.
Former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell testified to the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees earlier this year that Secretary of State Antony Blinken, as President Biden’s then-campaign senior adviser, ‘played a role in the inception’ of the letter signed by intelligence officials seeking to discredit the story.
Morell also said that he received a call from Biden’s White House counselor Steve Ricchetti, who was serving as the chairman of the 2020 campaign at the time, following the Oct. 22 debate, where Biden echoed this talking point despite providing zero evidence. Morell said the call was to thank him for spearheading the letter.
The White House declined to respond on the record, and Carpenter did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
Fox News’ Jessica Chasmar contributed to this report.