Tag: hunter biden
John Solomon

Right-Wing 'Journalist' Destroys Impeachment Case Against Biden

The right-wing scandal machine relies on confusing the public with references to an obscure cast of characters and a plethora of minute details which they claim prove their political foes engaged in nefarious deeds. But when you dig through the labyrinthine particulars they rail about, you often find that the core of their story is total nonsense. Here is one such case.

The right-wing conspiracy theory that Joe Biden, as vice president, pushed for Ukraine to fire its top prosecutor in order to aid his son Hunter’s business dealings is a pillar of House Republicans’ push to impeach him. Even some GOP members of Congress have pointed out there is “no evidence” to support this long-debunked narrative. But the hypothesis is further demolished by a document published last month by — of all people — the fabulist John Solomon, which indisputably confirms that at the time of that meeting, it was the policy of the U.S. government to seek that prosecutor’s removal.

The right has baselessly claimed for years that when Biden told Ukraine’s leaders during a December 2015 visit that the U.S. would not release $1 billion in loan guarantees unless they fired Viktor Shokin, the country’s prosecutor general, he was acting to benefit Hunter by halting Shokin’s purported probe of Burisma Holdings, on whose board Hunter served. Solomon, a former Fox News contributor and Washington Times editor, played a key role in concocting this pseudoscandal, alongside Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Fox News host Sean Hannity, and others, as they sought to damage Biden’s 2020 presidential run.

Their allegations were nonsense: Biden was carrying out U.S. policy, Shokin had been widely faulted by Western governments for failing to prosecute corruption, and his Burisma probe had stalled, as detailed in contemporaneous news reports and sworn testimony during then-President Donald Trump’s first impeachment. But House Republicans have revived the conspiracy theory as the core of their Biden impeachment plan.

The GOP’s narrative has now taken another hit: A briefing memo published by Solomon last month documents that it was U.S. policy to seek Shokin’s removal at that time. The memo, generated by the State Department for Biden in preparation for his meeting with then-Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko during a December 7-8, 2015, Ukraine trip reads in part under the heading “Background” (emphasis added):

Unity and Reforms: With local elections in the rear-view mirror and an economy that while still in difficulty, seems to have moved back from the precipice, the time is ripe for President Poroshenko to reanimate his reform agenda. You should recommend that he give a state of the nation speech to the Rada in which he reenergizes that effort and rolls out new proposed reforms. There is wide agreement that anti-corruption must be at the top of this list, and that reforms must include an overhaul of the Prosecutor General’s Office including removal of Prosecutor General Shokin, who is widely regarded as an obstacle to fighting corruption, if not a source of the problem.

Under “Talking Points,” the document states that “anti-corruption efforts … will also require changing the Prosecutor General who is damaging your credibility and obstructing the fight against corruption.” Similar language appears in a separate memo for Biden’s meeting with then-Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, which Solomon also published.

Solomon, naturally, is unwilling to accept that these documents blow a hole in the narrative he and his allies have pushed for years. He stressed in an August 22 article for his Just The News site and on Fox that night that the same memos call for Biden to sign the $1 billion loan guarantee rather than using it as leverage to force Shokin’s firing.

“The Biden White House knew that this Shokin investigation posed a political threat to the family, a personal threat to Joe Biden’s son's company, the company paying him a million dollars a year,” Solomon told Hannity. “And it’s in that moment when all this is happening that Joe Biden flips the switch and goes from the recommendation giving the billion dollars to you’re not getting the billion dollars until you fire Shokin and son of a b, they fire Shokin.”

The reason for Biden’s divergence from the plan described in the memos is unclear. The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler reported Friday that a source told him Biden had “called an audible” during the plane trip to Ukraine, but that “by the time Biden landed in Kyiv, four people with direct knowledge told The Fact Checker, the Obama White House was firmly on board with the plan.”

”Others,” Kessler wrote, “recall a more disciplined policy process preceding the trip that led to consensus on linking the firing to the loan.”

Geoffrey Pyatt, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine in 2015, and Victoria Nuland, who oversaw European affairs at the State Department at the time, both testified in 2020 congressional depositions that they recalled that conditioning the assistance on firing Shokin had been “U.S. government policy” developed through an interagency process. Pyatt further testified that the policy had already been conveyed to Ukrainian officials at the time of the trip.

Pyatt also downplayed the importance of the memos’ recommendations, saying they had been “written by a desk officer” and that in his experience, high-ranking officials would never “take a State Department product like this and sort of use that as their script.”

Nuland, meanwhile, stated that the interagency community had at the time been “dissatisfied that past investigations of Burisma had not been brought to conclusion” and thought that Shokin’s removal “would be counter to Burisma's interests.”

That’s consistent with last month’s testimony from Devon Archer, Hunter Biden’s former business partner and fellow Burisma board member, who told congressional investigators he had not been aware of any Shokin investigation into the company and that Shokin’s firing “was bad for Burisma because he was under control.”

But ultimately, the tick-tock of how Biden came to use the particular strategy of leveraging the loan guarantee is fundamentally irrelevant: The memos show that Biden, in seeking Shokin’s firing, was acting consistent with U.S. policy rather than freelancing to help his son.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

Viktor Shokin

Fox News Promotes Crooked Ukraine Prosecutor To Smear Biden

On August 25, Fox News previewed an interview of former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin by network host Brian Kilmeade that is set to air in full on August 26. In the preview segment, Shokin accused President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden of “corruption” and “being bribed” to push for the prosecutor’s removal from office in 2016.

In fact, there was widespread agreement at the time across the political spectrum in the United States and the European Union that Shokin should be fired for being soft on corruption, including State Department allegations that Shokin himself was corrupt. Additionally, at the time of his removal, Shokin wasn’t actively investigating Hunter Biden or Burisma, an energy company that had hired Hunter Biden to serve on its board of directors. Hunter Biden’s former business partner Devon Archer recently testified that it would have been better for Burisma if the Ukrainian government had kept Shokin because he was unlikely to move against the company.

Shokin’s claims are part of a longstanding smear campaign led by Rudy Giuliani on behalf of former President Donald Trump, which ultimately led to Trump’s first impeachment. Fox News knew Shokin’s claims were baseless then and continues to know it now, but the network is airing Shokin’s baseless allegations regardless.

Pushing for Shokin to be fired was the policy of not only the United States, where it was supported by leading Republicans, but also the international community

  • European nations, the United States, and over 100 members of Ukrainian parliament had pressured the Ukrainian government for months to fire Shokin. The international community concluded that Shokin was “turning a blind eye to corrupt practices” and “defending the interests of a venal and entrenched elite.” [Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 2/11/16; The New York Times, 3/29/16]
  • In 2015, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt called Shokin “an obstacle” to anti-corruption efforts. Ukraine’s refusal to act on anti-corruption measures, including keeping Shokin, resulted in the International Monetary Fund threatening to withhold $40 billion in aid. The European Union applauded his removal. [The Wall Street Journal, 9/22/19]
  • Protests in Ukraine demanded Shokin’s removal after he launched an investigation into an anti-corruption watchdog group and had fired various anti-corruption prosecutors. The group, Anti-Corruption Action Center, had publicly criticized Shokin. [Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 3/28/16; Kyiv Post, 3/25/16]
  • In 2016, Republican Sens. Rob Portman, Mark Kirk and Ron Johnson and Democratic colleagues addressed a letter to then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, calling for him to “press ahead with urgent reforms to the Prosecutor General’s office and judiciary.” The bipartisan letter was also signed by five Senate Democrats, underlining that removing Shokin was the consensus view in Washington, D.C. — not a pet project of the Biden family. [CNN, 10/3/2019]
  • Johnson would later lead a committee that investigated Hunter Biden’s role at Burisma and failed to uncover any evidence of wrongdoing. The New York Times noted, “In fact, investigators heard witness testimony that rebutted those charges,” and Johnson acknowledged there were no “massive smoking guns” in the report. [The New York Times, 9/23/20]
  • George Kent, the State Department’s expert on Ukraine, testified during Trump’s first impeachment trial that Shokin’s corruption led to his removal. Shokin was fired over corruption allegations and was not actively investigating Burisma when he was removed. The Washington Post reported in 2019 that Kent confirmed that Joe Biden called for the removal of “a corrupt prosecutor general … who had undermined a system of criminal investigation” into Ukrainian corruption cases, and “destroyed the entire ecosystem that we were trying to create.” Kent, who was the No. 2 official in the embassy at the time, explained that Biden was following the official U.S. government position that Shokin must be removed because he was “an impediment to the reform of the prosecutorial system, and he had directly undermined in repeated fashion U.S. efforts and U. S. assistance programs.” In fact, Kent testified that the idea to fire Shokin originated in the State Department before being pitched to others, including then-Vice President Biden. [The Washington Post, 11/19/19; Media Matters, 11/12/19]

At the time of his removal, Shokin was not actively investigating Burisma, and Hunter Biden was never the subject of an investigation into the company

  • Former Deputy Prosecutor General Vitaliy Kasko said in May 2019 that the investigation into Burisma had been “shelved by Ukrainian prosecutors in 2014 and through 2015.” Shokin had stalled investigations into Burisma and its co-founder Mykola Zlochevsky. In 2014, he undermined an attempt by British authorities to freeze $23 million worth of Zlochevsky’s assets. [Bloomberg, 5/7/19]
  • Devon Archer testified that he was not aware of any Shokin-led investigation into Burisma. He also testified that he had no reason to believe that then-Vice President Biden called for Shokin’s removal “was driven by anything other than the U.S. Government’s anticorruption policy in Ukraine,” and confirmed that firing Shokin “was bad for Burisma because he was under control.” [Media Matters, 8/3/23]
  • Investigations involving Burisma targeted Zlochevsky, who had been accused of “abuse of power, illegal enrichment and money laundering,” rather than the company itself. Shokin had allegedly “dragged his feet” on these investigations, and Hunter Biden, as a board member, was not a target. [The Wall Street Journal, 9/22/19]

Fox News knew its sourcing on the Ukraine conspiracy theory was unreliable

  • Conservative writer John Solomon was a key distributor of Rudy Giuliani’s conspiracy theories regarding Shokin’s firing. From March 20, 2019 — when Solomon published his first story on the Ukraine conspiracy theory — through October 2, 2019, Solomon appeared on Fox News or Fox Business at least 72 times, including 51 appearances on Sean Hannity’s prime-time show [Media Matters, 10/17/19]
  • During that period, Fox News senior political affairs specialist Bryan S. Murphy produced an internal “research briefing book” that “openly question[ed] Fox News contributor John Solomon’s credibility, accusing him of playing an ‘indispensable role’ in a Ukrainian ‘disinformation campaign,’” according to The Daily Beast. Murphy’s research came from what was known as Fox’s “Brain Room,” which the network later disbanded, and described Solomon as having “played an indispensable role in the collection and domestic publication of elements of this disinformation campaign.” [The Daily Beast, 2/6/20]
  • Murphy’s research book also advised that Giuliani had a “high susceptibility to disinformation” that was being fed to him by unreliable Ukrainian sources. [The Daily Beast, 2/6/20]
  • Fox News continues to accuse Joe Biden of taking bribes regarding Shokin’s firing even when confronted with contradictory evidence. On August 9, a panel discussion on The Five descended into chaos after co-host Jessica Tarlov attempted to get her co-panelists to acknowledge recent testimony from Hunter Biden business associate Devon Archer. Archer “was asked, if someone concluded … that Joe Biden was bribed, would you disagree with that? ‘Yeah, I would.’ Devon Archer said that,” Tarlov said to the panel. [Fox News, The Five, 8/9/23]

Giuliani, a Trump lawyer who would later be arrested for attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election, was the lynchpin to the entire scheme

  • Solomon’s reporting laid the groundwork for Giuliani’s investigations in Ukraine, which ultimately led to Trump’s first impeachment. Some of Solomon’s key sources were “disgraced former Ukrainian prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko and the allies of Dmytro Firtash, an indicted Ukrainian oligarch and accused high-level Russian mafia associate,” who “have been seen as forces driving Giuliani’s efforts in Ukraine to dig up dirt on Trump’s political enemies.” [Media Matters, 10/17/19; The Daily Beast, 2/6/20]
  • Giuliani ultimately sent his findings to then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, complete with “with unproven allegations against former Vice President Joe Biden” with the goal of undermining a future Biden presidential run. Giuliani used his documents “to bolster unproven allegations that Biden pressured Ukraine in order to protect his son, Hunter Biden, who has been involved with a business interest there, and that the Obama administration was using Ukraine to help Hillary Clinton win the 2016 election.” [NBC News, 10/3/19]
  • After Trump’s phone call attempting to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was revealed, Giuliani engaged in a press strategy to redirect the focus back to the Bidens. Some mainstream outlets took the bait, with headlines like “Scrutiny over Trump’s Ukraine scandal may also complicate Biden’s campaign” and “Why Trump’s Ukraine scandal could backfire on Biden.” [Media Matters, 9/23/19]

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

Chuck Grassley

'Flip-Flop Fest': Republicans Whine After Garland Names Hunter Biden Special Counsel

Republicans expressing outrage after Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday elevated the Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney investigating Hunter Biden to special counsel status are now being mocked and chastised after it was revealed they have been demanding the Attorney General appoint a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden for over a year.

“Half of the House Republican conference wrote to Merrick Garland last year asking him to appoint a special counsel in the Hunter Biden case. Now that he’s done it they are acting mad,” wrote Aaron Fritschner, deputy chief of staff for Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA).

Fritschner pointed to this letter to Garland from April, 2022, signed by nearly 100 House Republicans, demanding he appoint a special counsel.

“We believe that in the case of Hunter Biden a Special Counsel must be appointed to preserve the integrity of this investigation and any subsequent prosecution. A Special Counsel would also ensure there is no bias in the investigation or undue influence from the White House,” the Republicans wrote.

Doing so, they insisted, would “help restore” some “trust for the American people…in government institutions.”

For example, among the House Republicans who signed the April 2022 letter demanding a special counsel, is Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV), who on Friday, responding to a report about the elevation of David Weiss to special counsel status, wrote: “The Biden Justice Department is trying to stonewall congressional oversight. All this while the House Oversight Committee has put fourth mounting evidence of President Joe Biden’s role in his family’s schemes.”

The ridicule of Republicans came quickly.

Fritschner blasted U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Ron Johnson (R-WI):

Talking Points Memo founder Josh Marshall, pointing to Fritschner’s comments, responded: “Friends don’t let friend[s] try to appease Republicans.”

Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-FL), known for his sarcastic and scathing remarks ridiculing Republicans during House committee hearings, ridiculed the entire House GOP Friday afternoon. After pointing to a post from February they made demanding a special counsel, he suggested they might need treatment for amnesia.

Fritschner blasted Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Ron Johnson (R-WI):

That social media post from the House GOP included a letter from Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan blasting Garland for not appointing a special counsel.

National security attorney Brad Moss slammed Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) for demanding a special counsel be appointed, only to complain when one was.

Norman Ornstein, the political scientist and emeritus scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, responded, adding: “Chuck Grassley has long been an embarrassment to the Senate and clearly seems to have been privy to the attempt to steal the election. He needs to resign.”

Indeed, Sen. Grassley was one of 33 GOP Senators who, in September, not only demanded Garland appoint a special counsel, but demanded David Weiss be granted special counsel status.

“Under Department of Justice regulations and federal law, you have the power to provide special counsel authorities and protections to U.S. Attorney Weiss. Given that the investigation involves the President’s son, we believe it is important to provide U.S. Attorney Weiss with special counsel authorities and protections to allow him to investigate an appropriate scope of potentially criminal conduct, avoid the appearance of impropriety, and provide additional assurances to the American people that the Hunter Biden investigation is free from political influence,” the GOP Senators wrote.

Read the tweets above or at this link.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Jesse Watters

Still Lying: Fox Totally Falsifies GOP 'Star Witness' Testimony On Biden

Following the July 31 testimony to the House Oversight Committee by former Hunter Biden business partner Devon Archer, right-wing media outlets arrived at what should have been a very uncomfortable crossroads: They had relentlessly hyped a narrative that Archer would seriously incriminate President Joe Biden, but Archer denied that Joe Biden had talked business with his son’s associates and instead confirmed Hunter had sold only the “illusion” of access to his father. The full release of the transcript further busted right-wing narratives about any vast Biden family corruption linked to the president.

Fox News had an easy solution to this dilemma, however: It has simply claimed repeatedly that Archer had said the opposite of all these things. The brazenness with which the network is voicing these falsehoods is another example proving that Fox is simply a political propaganda outlet rather than any kind of news organization.

False: Joe Biden participated in nefarious business calls and dinners with Hunter Biden

The closest that House Republican investigators got to linking Joe Biden with his son’s business deals was that the two of them frequently spoke on the phone, and that Hunter Biden would put his father on speakerphone while in the company of his own business associates. But in his testimony, Archer explicitly said the two Bidens had been checking in on each other, making small talk — as well as discussing Beau Biden’s terminal cancer — and not discussing business.“Say, where are you, how’s the weather, how’s the fishing, how’s the — whatever it may be, whatever,” Archer said, describing the calls. “It was very, you know, casual conversations about — you know, not about cap tables or financials or anything like that.” Archer also said that while Joe Biden did attend several dinners with his son and some of his associates, but these dinners remained casual and they did not discuss business, instead discussing the U.N. World Food Program on which Hunter Biden then also served.But as Fox News hosts and guests tell it, Archer described proof of an intricate involvement between Joe Biden and his son’s business partners.

  • Fox News contributor Leo Terrell claimed the phone calls were “proof that Joe Biden knew what was going on” with Hunter Biden's business. Terrell proclaimed that “Joe Biden lied to the American people. He lied, and this witness has proven that he lied” when the president previously stated that he had no involvement with his son's business. Terrell continued, “Joe Biden getting on the phone and basically stating, ‘Hello,’ he made that call, is proof that Joe Biden knew what was going on.” [Fox News, The Story with Martha MacCallum, 8/1/23]
  • Fox guest and former Senate Republican staffer Garrett Ventry boasted that Archer’s “explosive testimony” showed Joe Biden “was potentially involved” and “certainly had knowledge” of Hunter Biden’s business. Ventry claimed that “we learned the day before [from] Devon Archer's explosive testimony that Joe Biden potentially was involved in Hunter Biden's business dealings, he certainly had knowledge of them.” Ventry further claimed that the indictment of former President Donald Trump for attempting to obstruct the 2020 election was really meant to be a distraction from this “explosive” evidence from Archer. [Fox News, America Reports, 8/2/23]
  • Fox News prime-time host Jesse Watters declared, “The full transcript of Biden's former business partner, Devon Archer, has just been released and it confirms everything that Joe Biden and the media have been lying to you about.” In fact, Archer’s testimony disproved everything that Watters and right-wing media have claimed. [Fox News, Jesse Watters Primetime, 8/3/23]
  • Fox host Maria Bartiromo said that Archer’s testimony about Hunter Biden putting his father on speakerphone “contradicts President Biden's repeated denial that he had no knowledge of his son's business deals.” In fact, Archer said that they did not discuss business during these speakerphone exchanges. [Fox News, Sunday Morning Futures, 8/6/23]
  • Conservative pundit Peter Schweitzer falsely claimed that Archer “unequivocally said any people discussing or claiming that he [Joe Biden] was not involved with his son's business is totally and completely incorrect.” Archer actually said that he was never aware of Hunter Biden discussing business with his father. [Fox News, Sunday Morning Futures, 8/6/23]

False: Hunter Biden sold access to Joe Biden and obtained changes in U.S. policy

Right-wing media has repeatedly mischaracterized conclusions from the testimony as proof that Hunter Biden sold access to then-Vice President Joe Biden. Archer’s testimony showed that Hunter Biden sold the “illusion of access” with no actual influence from his father. Archer further confirmed: “He did not ask him — to my knowledge, I never saw him say, do anything for any particular business,” nor was he aware of anything Joe Biden ever did in that direction.

  • Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett: “Devon Archer absolutely demolished Joe Biden's lies that he knew nothing, had no involvement. Archer confirmed that Hunter was selling access to his father and promises of influence.” Archer confirmed that Joe Biden was not involved in his son’s business deals, and that Hunter Biden sold an “illusion” of access rather than the real thing. [Fox News, Hannity, 8/3/23]
  • Right-wing author David Marcus: “There's no question left as to whether Joe Biden was involved in Hunter Biden's scheme to sell influence. Joe Biden was absolutely involved. The only question is did he know he was involved?” Again, Archer actually testified under oath that Joe Biden was not involved in his son’s business dealings. [Fox News, America’s Newsroom, 8/7/23]
  • Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel: “The important thing we learned this week from Devon Archer is that whenever Hunter Biden wanted to show that he had access to Washington, his dad willingly got on the phone. He came to the meetings, and it was all designed to help Hunter suggest he had access to the wheels of power.” Archer said that Joe Biden got on the phone with his son as they discussed Beau Biden’s terminal cancer and to check-in with each other emotionally. [Fox News, Hannity, 8/4/23]
  • Fox & Friends guest Brett Tolman: “This is the vice president of the United States getting on calls with foreign leaders in order to sell to them access and sell to them capability of helping them when they get in trouble.” This statement has no connection to reality. Archer testified that whenever Hunter Biden put his father on speakerphone, the result was an exchange of friendly hellos. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/1/23]

False: Joe Biden fired Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin to help Burisma

Fox News has continued to push the years-old smear campaign that led to then-President Donald Trump’s first impeachment, claiming that as vice president, Joe Biden pushed for the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating the energy firm Burisma when Hunter Biden was on the company’s board.In fact, Archer confirmed that Shokin’s firing was consistent with a longstanding anti-corruption policy. Furthermore, Archer explained that “the firing of Shokin was bad for Burisma because he was under control,” meaning that Shokin was not seriously prosecuting Burisma and might have let the company off easy on any corruption charges. For example, Shokin’s lack of cooperation with a U.K. investigation had already led to the head of the company’s assets being unfrozen. Archer’s testimony is consistent with voluminous other reporting over the years demonstrating that Shokin was removed by the Ukrainian government at the urging of American and European officials concerned that the prosecutor was himself corrupt. (The international groundswell to remove Shokin actually predated Biden’s involvement.)Fox News, however, has fully resurrected this zombie narrative:

  • Fox News host Ainsley Earhardt stated that Joe Biden “went over there and he fired the prosecutor that was investigating the company for corruption.” For her proof of this, Earhardt cited an article in the right-wing Washington Examiner. Archer confirmed that Shokin’s firing was part of an anti-corruption policy. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/1/23]
  • New York Post columnist Miranda Devine said Joe Biden “withheld a billion dollars or threatened to withhold a billion dollars of U.S. aid from Ukraine unless they fired the very prosecutor who was investigating the company” that employed Hunter Biden. In reality, Archer said that Shokin’s firing was “bad for Burisma.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/1/23]
  • Fox News host Todd Piro: “Burisma was worried that people would legally mess with them, those people being Viktor Shokin, the prosecutor. So who could they get? Joe Biden.” Shokin was precisely not messing with Burisma, as the head of the company’s assets had been unfrozen “because of a lack of cooperation from the Ukrainian prosecutor’s office.” [Fox News, Outnumbered, 8/3/23]
  • Fox News contributor Andy McCarthy falsely claimed that Joe Biden “used his influence to help get a prosecutor fired, who happens to have been investigating the company that was paying his son $83,000 a month.” Archer confirmed that Shokin was not effectively investigating Burisma and his role as prosecutor was viewed as “good” for the company. [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto, 8/4/23]
  • Former Trump acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker: “Joe Biden brags about firing the prosecutor who was investigating Burisma. This is a prima facie case.” Shokin was failing to investigate Burisma. [Fox News, Life, Liberty & Levin, 8/6/23]

False: Joe Biden is compromised by foreign governments

Archer testified that he and Hunter Biden “didn’t raise capital from the Chinese,” and that they never spoke about any alleged prospects of Chinese investments being important to his family. But in Fox News’ telling, Archer’s testimony was proof that Joe Biden is in hock to foreign governments, especially China.

  • Fox News host Rachel Campos-Duffy claimed that “Joe Biden and his family have gotten, you know, enormously wealthy off of this kind of influence peddling. … These countries have something over him. He is compromised.” Archer shot down claims that foreign business dealings were of importance to Joe Biden. [Fox News, Fox & Friends Weekend, 8/5/23]
  • The Hill media columnist Joe Concha: “You have a president that can be compromised by the likes of China, Ukraine, Romania, you can go down the list. … If that’s the case, then this makes Watergate look like a smash-and-grab.” Archer denied claims that Joe Biden had been bribed. [Fox News, The Faulkner Focus, 8/7/23]
  • Fox News host Pete Hegseth claimed that “the Biden family can be bought and the Chinese will pay big bucks for it, or should I say big Yuans.” Archer said that he and Hunter Biden did not raise money from China. Instead, Hegseth switched from citing Archer to then relying on an article from serial smear merchant John Solomon for this particular claim. (Solomon’s article involves Hunter Biden’s business activities from 2017 and 2018, a time when his father did not hold any public office.) [Fox News, The Ingraham Angle, 8/4/23]
  • Bartiromo claimed that Archer said “what he called the brand was what China, Ukraine and Russia all wanted to pay for, with Joe Biden at the seat of — with Joe Biden at the seat of power as the vice president of the United States.” Archer specifically shot down claims that Joe Biden had been bribed. [Fox News, Sunday Morning Futures, 8/6/23]

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.