“Happy you guys are together,” Vice President Biden wrote to Mr. Archer about Hunter in 2011 on White House letterhead after Mr. Archer attended a luncheon at the State Department for Hu Jintao, then president of China.
Republicans also point to a picture of Mr. Archer and Vice President Biden on a golf course, and to a 2014 visit Mr. Archer made to the White House shortly before Hunter’s appointment to the Burisma board. During the visit, according to emails and interviews, Mr. Archer did not talk to Hunter’s father about the Ukrainian company, as Republicans have suggested. Mr. Archer was there with his young son, who was working on a papier-mâché model of the White House for his class.
To try to make the case that the elder Mr. Biden played a role in his son’s dealings with Mr. Ye, Republicans point to statements by Tony Bobulinski, an associate who has claimed that Hunter’s father had at least some knowledge of the possible venture with CEFC. They also cite messages in which another participant in the negotiations, James Gilliar, floated the possibility that a 10 percent stake in their prospective company could be set aside for the “big guy.”
Mr. Gilliar later said he was unaware of any involvement in the CEFC discussions by Hunter’s father at any time. Family members and other participants say the elder Mr. Biden never met with Mr. Ye or other company executives.
In a November news conference where he discussed the CEFC negotiations, Representative James R. Comer, a Kentucky Republican and the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said there was evidence President Biden was “a ‘partner’ with access to an office.”
He displayed a poster-size copy of an email Hunter Biden sent in 2017 to the manager of the building where he had an office in Washington asking for keys to be made for his “new office mates,” a group that, Hunter wrote, included his father, his mother and one of Mr. Ye’s representatives in the United States. In addition to the keys, he requested a new signboard for the door of his office listing CEFC, Hudson West and the Biden Foundation, which his parents started after leaving the White House.
The younger Mr. Biden has told friends that he wrote the email to the building manager seeking to impress her as a serious business executive because he was afraid he would lose his lease after security cameras spotted him sneaking a homeless person into the building so they could smoke crack together.