Devon Archer, former business partner of Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, confirmed to Congress what Breitbart News reported in October 2020: that then-Vice President Biden met with Hunter’s associates from Kazakhstan at Café Milano in 2014.
A photograph taken at the meeting was first published in 2019 at an anti-corruption website called the Kazhakhstani Initiative on Asset Recovery (KIAR). A source informed Breitbart News that the location was likely the Café Milano in Washington, D.C.
Breitbart News reported at the time:
The photo … purports to show Hunter Biden and Joe Biden, together with Kazakhstan’s former prime minister, Karim Massimov, at far right.
At far left, the photo shows Kenes Rakishev, described as “a relative and junior partner of [oligarch] Timur Kulibayev.”
Rakishev and Hunter Biden once reportedly explored business opportunities together.
A U.S. Senate report on Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings also noted that Rakishev, who had been at the Café Milano dinner, gave $142,300 to Archer, ostensibly for a car, and that the timing coincided with Vice President Biden’s visit to Ukraine:
Archer received $142,300 from Kenges Rakishev of Kazakhstan, purportedly for a car, the same day [in 2014] Vice President Joe Biden appeared with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arsemy Yasenyuk and addressed Ukrainian legislators in Kyiv regarding Russia’s actions in Crimea.
At the time, the date of the photograph was unknown, but Archer’s testimony to the House Oversight Committee earlier this week confirmed that the date of the meeting was 2014.
Archer also confirmed that Biden — who denied during his 2020 campaign that he had ever discussed his family’ business interests — had dinner that evening with his son’s associates, and that they included Yelena Baturina, the widow of former Moscow mayor Yury Luzkkov, who had earlier wired Hunter Biden $3.5 million.
From the transcript:
Majority Counsel: And I want to talk about the value. Going back to this, it would be, spring of 2014 Cafe Milano dinner ‑‑
Mr. Archer: Uh‑huh. The spring of ’14, yeah, the first one.
Majority Counsel: And since we talked about it before the break, if you could just recap. Can you just say again who was there?
Mr. Archer: Sure. Kenes Rakishev, Karim Massimov, Yelena Baturina, possibly Yury, Hunter Biden, Joe Biden, possibly Eric Schwerin.
Majority Counsel: The duration of time that Joe Biden stayed there you said you couldn’t recall. But do you recall whether he had dinner or whether ‑‑
Mr. Archer: He had dinner, yeah. I recall that he had dinner. It was a regular ‑‑ not a long dinner, but dinner.
Majority Counsel: And so this dinner takes place in spring of 2014, approximately. But then do you recall getting a wire on February 14th of 2014 from Yelena Baturina for $3.5 million to Rosemont Seneca Thornton?
Mr. Archer: To Rosemont Seneca Thornton?
Majority Counsel: Yes.
Mr. Archer: Yes. And why I remember that is from the ‑‑ from other testimony. Yes.
In the first presidential debate of 2020, President Biden denied, falsely, that Baturina had sent his son $3.5 million. Archer’s testimony confirmed the transfer, as well as the fact that Biden was on at least 20 phone calls with Hunter Biden’s associates.
Democrats attempted to claim, following Archer’s testimony, that the fact that Joe Biden spoke on the phone with his son’s associates on the phone did not mean that they spoke about business. Legal analyst Jonathan Turley mocked that claim:
Despite the overwhelming evidence on financial transfers to the Bidens and the Archer testimony confirming that they were selling the Biden brand, Rep. Goldman thinks that the key is that they did not actually discuss the demands on speakerphone in the middle of Cafe Milano…— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) August 3, 2023
While Turley was referring to the Café Milano in jest, it turns out that Biden did not talk “on speakerphone” to Hunter Biden’s associates at that particular restaurant, but he actually dined with them in person, as confirmed by Archer’s testimony Monday.
The head of the Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Section at the time of the Bidens’ dinner was Jack Smith, who is now the Special Counsel prosecuting former President Donald Trump. Smith did not prosecute the Bidens at the time, nor has he since.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.