House Republicans Oversell Latest Dirt On Hunter Biden

WASHINGTON — House Republicans on Wednesday unveiled new documents they claimed showed President Joe Biden’s son Hunter had lied three times during his testimony to Congress earlier this year.

But the evidence they presented doesn’t actually show Biden lying about at least one of those claims.

During a closed-door deposition on Capitol Hill in February, the younger Biden told lawmakers that he did not help foreign nationals obtain visas for traveling to the U.S. as part of his overseas business dealings. 

“I’d never pick up the phone and call anybody for a visa,” Biden said, according to the transcript

It’s a key claim, because an American helping a foreign national deal with the U.S. government can face criminal penalties if they fail to register as a foreign agent, under a law called the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Republicans have long said Biden’s work for various foreign nationals should have made him register.

One of the emails Republicans released Thursday is a February 2015 message from Devon Archer, one of Hunter Biden’s former business partners, to officials with the Ukrainian gas company Burisma, which employed both Archer and Biden as board members.

“Hunter is checking with Miguel Alemán to see if he can provide cover to [Burisma founder Mykola Zlochevsky] on the visa,” the message says. 

Citing that email, House Ways and Means Committee Chair Jason Smith (R-Mo.) said in a statement Wednesday that “Hunter Biden lied during his deposition when he said he never helped individuals obtain U.S. visas.”

But the documents Republicans released Wednesday show Biden’s associates talking about a Mexican visa, not an American one.

Archer was responding to an email from Burisma executive Vadym Pozharskyi about a trip to Mexico that Zlochevsky had apparently been planning.

Zlochevsky’s U.S. visa had been revoked — the U.S. government considered him corrupt — and Pozharskyi was worried that could complicate an attempt to get a Mexican visa for the upcoming Mexico trip. Pozharskyi said a travel agent had warned them that “supposedly Mexico and the USA customs authorities share the same database.”

“With this in mind, I feel that there’s a risk that he will fly to Mexico and would be denied entry, and in bad mood would be forced to come back,” Pozharskyi wrote. 

Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.) in February.
Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.) in February. Tom Williams via Getty Images

Archer replied by tellingPozharskyi to send Zlochevsky’s passport and other documents to Biden, and that Archer and Biden would check with Mexican businessman Miguel Alemán Magnani, another of their international contacts, to see if he could help with the visa. In a follow-up, Pozharskyi said he attached an image of Zlochevsky’s passport and his revoked U.S. visa. 

The batch of messages Republicans released Thursday doesn’t contain a response from Biden to Zlochevsky; there is only a message sent to Biden.

On, a right-wing site that has become Washington’s unofficial search engine for the contents of Biden’s hard drive, there’s an entry showing that Biden forwarded Pozharskyi’s email to Alemán Magnani with a note saying Zlochevsky’s U.S. visa “was suspended and we are working on that.”

In subsequent emails Biden and his partners seem disappointed with Alemán Magnani, suggesting the Mexican visa never came through.

The emails don’t make it clear what Biden meant when he said his team was “working on” Zlochevsky’s visa. In his testimony, he said he told Burisma officials that if they needed help getting visas or had other issues with the U.S. government, they should use a Democratic consulting firm called Blue Star Strategies, a suggestion that Burisma followed.

“They needed a consulting company in order for them to be able to approach anybody in the United States Government that was not me or anybody associated with me,” Biden said in his deposition.

In an April 2014 email to Archer — which was around the time Biden and Archer joined Burisma’s board — Biden made clear he didn’t want to run afoul of FARA. People at Burisma, he wrote, according to, “need to know in no uncertain terms that we will not and cannot intervene directly with domestic policy makers, and that we need to abide by FARA and any other US laws in the strictest sense across the board.”

Documents previously released by Senate Republicans, who conducted their own probe of Biden’s foreign business deals in 2020, included an email showing Blue Star helping Porzhaskyi with Zlochevsky’s U.S. visa application for a 2018 trip to New York, though the executives testified that the trip never happened and he was not given a visa.

The Justice Department has not included any FARA violations in its ongoing criminal prosecution of Hunter Biden, which centers on charges he illegally owned a gun and didn’t pay his taxes.

Republicans have been running an impeachment inquiry accusing Joe Biden of using his position as vice president under Barack Obama to make money for his son and brother, who would dangle the possibility of access and favors to clients foreign and domestic. They’ve baselessly claimed the elder Biden did favors for Burisma, but keep striking out on evidence.

Wednesday’s release from Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee focused on the far narrower question of whether Hunter Biden lied during his deposition. Republicans obtained the documents not from, but from IRS criminal investigators who claimed the Justice Department slow-walked the Biden case. They voted to release the material Wednesday under a tax disclosure law that allows Congress to make private tax information public.

A spokesperson for Smith declined to comment on the apparent discrepancies between the visa-related emails and Smith’s description.

Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), the top Democrat on Ways and Means, said Republicans presented “not one new scintilla of evidence” at Wednesday’s hearing. He said the committee shouldn’t be trying to second-guess the criminal prosecution of Hunter Biden.

“We are not a law enforcement agency,” Neal told HuffPost.

Republicans accused Biden of telling two other lies in his deposition.

The first concerns his claim that he sent a threatening WhatsApp message to the wrong Chinese national. In July 2017, Hunter Biden sent a message to a Chinese businessman named Raymond Zhao, claiming that he was sitting next to his father and demanding Zhao pay him for consulting work.

Biden said he was “high or drunk” at the time and accidentally sent the message to a Henry Zhao, who was not affiliated with the Chinese company with which he was arranging a deal, but Smith said the records showed Biden “sent the message to the correct Chinese businessman.”

The other lie Biden allegedly told was when he said he was not the corporate secretary of Rosemont Seneca Bohai, one of several limited liability companies he set up with Archer and other associates. One of the documents released Wednesday shows Hunter Biden’s signature on a form indicating he was, in fact, the company’s secretary. 

Archer had previously also testified that Biden was not part of the company, though he said he and Biden had a “handshake” agreement about it. During Archer’s deposition, a Republican staff attorney said, “So you’re saying there’s no ― he had no ― ‘he’ being Hunter Biden ― had no position with RSB, Rosemont Seneca Bohai?”

“Right,” Archer said.