The Department of Justice (DOJ) insisted that its prison request for Hunter Biden‘s former business partner, Devon Archer, would not affect plans for him to testify behind closed doors before a House committee on Monday.

United States Attorney Damian Williams sent a second letter to a judge in the Southern District of New York on Sunday after Republicans on the House Oversight Committee raised concerns about the timing of his first letter on Saturday, which urged the court to pick a date for Archer to begin a prison sentence.

“To be clear, the Government does not request (and has never requested) that the defendant surrender before his Congressional testimony,” Williams wrote in the letter shared to X by New York Post columnist Miranda Devine.

The federal prosecutor said the process of a defendant surrendering and commencing a prison sentence, which includes being designated to a federal facility by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, could take several weeks or months after a date is set.


“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,” Williams said.

Archer, a former John Kerry presidential campaign adviser, was sentenced in 2022 to roughly a year in prison after being convicted in a Native American tribal entity fraud scheme in which Biden was not implicated, but the prison sentence had been delayed amid the appeals process.

The first letter sent by the U.S. attorney on Saturday similarly asked the court to determine a date for Archer to surrender to authorities, but the timing of it stirred consternation among Republicans.

Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-KY) told Fox host Maria Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures” that he found it “odd” that the U.S. attorney sent it to court over the weekend and right before Archer was set to appear before the oversight panel. Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC), another member of the House Oversight Committee, said on X that if “DOJ arrests Devon Archer tomorrow as retribution for him testifying against Hunter and Joe Biden we should do everything in our power to defund the DOJ and impeach Merrick Garland.”

Matthew Schwartz, an attorney for Archer, told POLITICO that they were “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,” but insisted that Archer disagreed with that view and planned to speak with congressional investigators on Monday.

Although the House Oversight Committee’s plan to speak with Archer appears to be moving forward as planned, some members remained skeptical about the DOJ’s motives.

“The weaponized DOJ now ‘clarifies’ they won’t try to prevent Devon Archer from testifying tomorrow,” Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) said about the second letter from the U.S. attorney. “Witness intimidation & obstruction? Nah, nothing to see here.”

“After obstructing justice demanding Devon Archer go to jail immediately, the DOJ sends a letter again demanding Devon Archer go to jail but back peddling as fast as possible to clarify ‘after’ his congressional testimony,” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) said on X. “Why the rare workload on Saturday and Sunday? What is the DOJ worried about?”

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