There were accusations from Republicans and speculative reports over the weekend that President Joe Biden's Justice Department attempted to interfere with and obstruct the scheduled Monday congressional testimony of Devon Archer, a former business partner and close friend of Hunter Biden, with threats of an impending prison sentence.
Undoubtedly in response to the accusations and speculation, both Archer's attorney and the DOJ itself sought to dismiss those rumors and clarify that Archer was not about to be imprisoned on the eve of his testimony to a congressional committee, BizPacReview reported.
Indeed, Archer did testify behind closed doors to the House Oversight Committee on Monday, and quite predictably, Democratic and Republican members of the committee shared substantially different accounts with the media afterward about what Archer had revealed with regard to the Biden family's alleged corrupt influence-peddling via foreign business deals.
The saga began on "Sunday Morning Futures" when Fox News host Maria Bartiromo, during an interview with Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-KY), about a letter sent Saturday from the DOJ to a federal New York judge requesting him to schedule a surrender date for Archer to report to a federal prison to serve time for an unrelated matter.
Comer noted how "odd" it was for such a letter to be sent on a Saturday and to "nudge the judge" to send Archer to prison on the unrelated matter just prior to his scheduled appearance before Comer's committee about the Biden family's business dealings, and said, "I don’t know if this is a coincidence, Maria, or if this is another example of the weaponization of the Department of Justice."
"But I can tell you this," he continued. "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 -- it’s very troubling."
"I believe that this is another violation of the law, this is obstruction of justice," the chairman added. "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 DOJ letter went viral on social media shortly thereafter when New York Post columnist Miranda Devine shared a portion of it and wrote, "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 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 his fraud conviction," she added.
That post from Devine, despite being hit with a contradictory note adding context, was subsequently shared by numerous elected Republicans, according to BizPacReview, who each added their own outraged commentary and accusations against the politicized DOJ being used as a partisan weapon by the Biden administration.
By Sunday afternoon, however, CBS News reporter Catherine Herridge shared a statement from Archer's attorney, Matthew Schwartz, who said, "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."
"To be clear, Mr. Archer does not agree with that speculation," the attorney 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."
Then, just a short while after that, the DOJ issued another letter to the New York judge on Sunday to seemingly clarify that the letter sent one day prior was not intended to interfere with or otherwise obstruct Archer's scheduled testimony before the committee.
"To be clear, the Government does not request (and has never requested) that the defendant surrender before his Congressional testimony," the letter stated, and added, "Nonetheless, 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."