DOJ throws its weight against Devon Archer before today’s testimony, then backs off
“This is the first time I have ever heard of the Department of Justice doing anything on a Saturday.”
So said House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer to FOX NEWS’ Maria Bartiromo on Sunday. We don’t know if it’s a coincidence or not --- it sure doesn’t look like one --- but on Saturday, just two days before Devon Archer was scheduled for a behind-closed-doors transcribed interview with the Oversight Committee, President Biden’s DOJ was pushing for him to begin his prison sentence for an unrelated 2018 conviction on defrauding a Native American tribe. That conviction is on appeal, but the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld his one-year sentence.
On Saturday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York sent a letter to Judge Ronnie Abrams calling for him to set a date for Archer to report for prison.
Miranda Devine of the NEW YORK POST does not see a coincidence here. She tweeted on Sunday, “The DOJ is trying to arrest Devon Archer ahead of his bombshell testimony Monday about Joe Biden’s involvement in his son Hunter’s Ukraine business when he was VP. US Attorney in the SDNY [Southern District of New York] Damian Williams issued a menacing letter yesterday --- Saturday --- telling Judge Abrams to order Archer to go to jail immediately to serve a one-year sentence for fraud conviction.”
Archer’s attorneys responded by saying, “Mr. Archer believes it is premature to set a report date in light of his anticipated appeal as well as the newly-discovered sentencing error that the government has now conceded. Counsel for Mr. Archer will put in a response to the Government’s request by Wednesday.”
In the meantime, Archer has this hanging over his head as he testifies MONDAY.
If Archer’s attorney, Matthew Schwartz, saw this as more than coincidence, he wasn’t letting on. “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,” he told POLITICO on Sunday. “To be clear, Mr. Archer does not agree with that speculation. [Aside: well, to those of us watching the process, it sure looks that way.] 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.”
But in BREAKING NEWS Sunday evening, U.S. Attorney Williams --- very busy this weekend --- appeared to back off, sending a second, “clarifying” letter that said, “The Government understands that the defendant is scheduled to provide testimony to Congress tomorrow, July 31, 2023. To be clear the Government does not request (and has never requested) that the defendant surrender before his Congressional inquiry. As the Court knows, to surrender and commence his sentence of imprisonment, the defendant first must be designated to a federal facility by the Bureau of Prisons --- a process that can take weeks or months after the Court specifies a surrender date.
“Nevertheless, for the avoidance of all doubt, the Government requests that any surrender date, should the Court order one, be scheduled to occur after the defendant’s Congressional testimony is completed.”
If they wanted to avoid all doubt, why didn’t they say so in the first place? Then they wouldn’t have had to work through the weekend. But no, it looks as though they overstepped on Saturday in a move that looked very, very much like witness intimidation --- identical to it, in fact --- and then on Sunday had to course-correct.
As Rep. Comer told Maria Bartiromo Sunday morning (after the first DOJ letter but before the second), “I don’t know if this is a coincidence...or if this is another example of the weaponization of the Department of Justice, but I can tell you this: The lengths to which the Biden legal team has gone to try to intimidate our witnesses, to coordinate with the Department of Justice, and to certainly coordinate with the Democrats on the House Oversight Committee, to encourage people not to cooperate with our investigation, to encourage banks not to turn over bank records, to encourage Treasury not to let us have access to those Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs), it’s very troubling.” He called it a violation of the law, obstruction of justice. But they are undeterred from bringing “the facts and the truth” to the American people about “this President and his family.”
He says he’s “never” seen a case like this, where a family has been involved in so many SARs. These are a big deal, issued only when criminal conduct is suspected. He said the Kentucky Bankers’ Association told him a couple of weeks ago that the number of SASRs the Bidens racked up was unbelievable. A typical bank might issue one or two a year, typically to foreigners who do business in America and, of course, money launderers.
Archer “has the opportunity to be a hero” on Monday, Comer said, “like the two whistleblowers were, like the judge in Delaware was who rejected the ‘sweetheart’ plea deal from the Department of Justice to Hunter Biden.”
“There ARE good people in the justice system,” he said. And he doesn’t think it’s true that “nothing’s gonna happen to the Bidens.” His interview is a good preview of coming attractions...
Archer’s testimony was put off three times before being scheduled for the last day before Congress begins its August recess. Not having his testimony by then might have put a serious crimp in the Oversight Committee’s investigation, which will continue through the “vacation.” As Comer wrote in his subpoena, “The Committee is investigating foreign nationals’ attempts to target and coerce high-ranking U.S. officials’ family members by providing money or other benefits in exchange for certain actions...Both information that the Committee has reviewed and public reporting indicates that Mr. Archer played a significant role in the Biden family’s business deals abroad, including but not limited to China, Russia and Ukraine.”
“...Mr. Archer’s testimony is critical to the Committee’s investigation.”
Comer said the decision to impeach or not will be up to Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Jim Jordan, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee. Legal analyst Margot Cleveland believes impeachment --- or, rather, an impeachment inquiry, which might or might not lead to impeachment --- is the only way to get to the truth --- not just about the Bidens but the role played by the FBI and DOJ. This is just as much about that. Her column is a must-read, for you and for anyone you know who watches mainstream news and sincerely believes there is “no evidence whatsoever” tying President Biden to his son’s business.
It’s hard to have to say it, but even some FOX NEWS hosts have tried to maintain that fiction --- we can only assume because they still, somehow, manage to believe it themselves. Saturday host Arthel Neville ended an interview this weekend by saying the link to President Biden had “been debunked over and over.” On the contrary, the matter is very much under investigation and certainly has not been debunked. Arthel, we love you, but...bless your heart.
Well, at least you won’t hear similar sentiments from Mark Levin. This Sunday he featured an exclusive interview with former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who had his own run-in with Special Counsel Jack Smith, back when Smith headed the (try not to laugh) Public Integrity Section at the DOJ. Don’t miss it.
Be sure and see Levin’s monologue, too, about “hit man” Jack Smith, his deeply partisan web of influence, and his “superseding” indictment of President Trump. We’ve covered most of the swampy DOJ connections he points out, but there are a few unfamiliar ones.
Investigative reporter Julie Kelly has also been digging into Smith’s background and found that he has a history of taking a sledgehammer to Republicans while turning a blind eye to Democrats.
Something else is under investigation, too, lest we forget that stunt that Latham & Watkins attorney Jessica Bengels apparently tried to play on the office of U.S. District Court Judge Maryellen Noreika, who is presiding over Hunter’s tax/finance case. Recall that Bengels allegedly pretended to be from the House Ways and Means Committee to try to prevent their court filing containing whistleblower testimony from being put before this judge. Bengels is in hot water, as well she should be. Nebraska Sen. Pete Ricketts has written to the bar organizations in New York and DC, requesting an investigation into possible ethics violations by her and Hunter’s legal team.
Judge Noreika issued a new order saying all issues relating to the Hunter case are to be brought directly to her, to avoid, ahem, “misrepresentations.”
The House Oversight Committee is requesting documents and communications from Democrat donor Elizabeth Naftali pertaining to her purchase of Hunter Biden’s alleged art. She has a deadline of August 11 to comply. (Sidebar on the super secrecy around the buyers of Hunter’s “art”: Kat Timpf on “Gutfeld” made the excellent point of asking who pays hundreds of thousands of dollars for a work of art and then doesn’t brag about owning it or show it to anybody?)
As for that “superseding” indictment of Trump by Jack Smith, Trump denied in no uncertain terms the charge that he sought to have security footage at his private residence destroyed. He also called Smith a “thug,” which is no worse than what Mark Levin called him.