Bobulinski claims in heated hearing that Joe Biden is the 'big guy'

Two former associates of Hunter Biden testified before the House about the alleged Biden family influence-peddling scheme.

The House of Representatives held a long and heated hearing today on the Biden family's accusations of influence peddling and corrupt dealings. The president's son, Hunter Biden, was scheduled to testify but did not attend. For several hours, members of Congress questioned two of Hunter's former associates, Tony Bobulinski and Jason Galanis.

The Democrats invited Lev Parnas as a witness, a former associate of Rudy Giuliani who has said that he worked with the Republican to push to open an investigation in Ukraine into the Biden family and thereby supposedly harm the president in the 2020 elections.

Joe Biden was 'the brand'

Devon Archer, Hunter's former associate, testified before the House Oversight Committee that Joe Biden was "the brand," Tony Bobulinski said at the hearing this morning:

“Is it clear to me Joe Biden is the brand being sold by the Biden family... His family’s foreign influence‑peddling operation, from China to Ukraine and elsewhere, sold out to foreign actors who were seeking to gain influence and access to Joe Biden and the United States government."

Both Archer and Bobulinski have claimed that the Biden family obtained money from abroad in exchange for offering influence and favors from Joe Biden, then vice president of the United States.

What was Biden's role?

Hunter Biden has said under oath that his father was not aware of his businesses and that there was no connection between his companies and the now president.

"I just state for the record one more time, under oath and under penalty of perjury, my father has never been involved in my business. I have never asked my father to be involved in my business. My father has never benefited from my business, and I have never asked anyone -- or my father -- to do anything for the benefit of anyone I've ever done business for," Hunter said in his statements.

However, the House Ways and Means Committee released a WhatsApp message sent by Hunter Biden on July 30, 2017, which reads: "I am sitting here with my father and we would like to understand why the commitment made has not be fulfilled. ... I am sitting here waiting for the call with my father."

Devon Archer testified that, on multiple occasions, Hunter put Joe Biden on speaker phone. In this hearing, Bobulinski confirmed those statements, ensuring that he also witnessed calls that the now president took part in. Hunter's former partner also assured that President Biden's role even went beyond being a "participant."

"Joe Biden was more than a participant in and beneficiary of his family’s business; he was an active, aware enabler who met with business associates such as myself to further the business, despite being buffered by a complex scheme to maintain plausible deniability," said Bobulinski.

Bobulinski on the 'big guy'

During the hearing, Rep. Jim Jordan asked Bobulinski about the "big guy." In one of the emails on Hunter Biden's computer, a message was found with a copy to Hunter specifying the distribution of some equity shares. Bobulinski was mentioned in the message and in one of the lines it said: "10 held by H for the big guy."

"Who's the big guy?" Rep. Jordan asked Bobulinski.

"Joe Biden," Bobulinski responded.

"You sure about that?" Jordan replied.

"One thousand percent, and there's other text messages that back that up that the brave whistleblowers [Gary] Shapley and [Joe] Ziegler have produced – not from my phones, not from my BlackBerry that I took screenshots from. They took them from subpoenas directly from Apple's iCloud that back up the fact that Hunter knew the big was Joe Biden," Bobulinski added.

Hunter Biden's absence

One chair was empty at the witness table, that of Hunter Biden. Despite insisting that his hearing be public, when given the opportunity, he decided not to appear. For many Republicans, the real reason why the president's son did not attend the hearing is because it was not convenient for him to share the stage with his two former associates and confront the accusations face to face.

Hunter's attorney, Abbe Lowell, sent a letter to the committee about the president's son's refusal of the subpoena: “Your blatant planned-for-media event is not a proper proceeding but an obvious attempt to throw a Hail Mary pass after the game has ended.”