Republicans Go To Bat For Federal Prisoner Who Testified In Biden Impeachment Inquiry

In an interview with congressional investigators, Jason Galanis claimed his home confinement request was denied to prevent him from talking to investigators.
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WASHINGTON — House Republicans are chasing a new lead in their impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden, sending official demands for information about how the Justice Department handled a federal prisoner’s requests for home confinement.

Impeachment investigators interviewed Jason Galanis last month at a federal prison in Alabama, where Galanis, who claimed to have been a business partner of Hunter Biden’s, is serving a 14-year sentence for his roles in two multimillion-dollar fraud schemes.

Galanis claimed during the interview that his request for home confinement last year had been rejected in order to prevent him from talking to Republicans searching for evidence of Joe Biden’s involvement in his son’s business deals.

“I’ve been the victim of a pattern of retribution by the Department of Justice in order to prevent my home confinement, which would have allowed full and free access to congressional investigators,” Galanis said, according to an interview transcript.

Despite the Justice Department granting Republicans’ request for an interview with Galanis and talking to him for four hours, some GOP figures still think there’s something fishy going on.

In a letter from House Judiciary Committee chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), House Oversight Committee chair James Comer (R-Ky.) and Judiciary Committee member Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), the three said they were investigating Galanis’ allegations “and will take seriously any attempt by [the Bureau of Prisons] to obstruct the Committees’ inquiry, including by retaliating against witnesses.”

The letter was sent Tuesday to the director of the BOP and the U.S. attorney’s office for the southern district of New York, which prosecuted Galanis.

The U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment. The BOP did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Galanis testimony and follow-up letter represent one of the more unusual rabbit holes Republicans have followed in their quest for incriminating evidence against the president. They have also interviewed a New York gallerist who sold paintings by Hunter Biden and the trustee of a bankrupt health care company that once hired the president’s brother. The gallerist and trustee (along with a series of other witnesses) have said they were unaware of Joe Biden being involved in his family’s business schemes.

Republicans’ most serious allegation ― that the Bidens solicited bribes from a Ukrainian oligarch ― imploded last month when the Justice Department said an informant had made them up.

Galanis testified that from 2012 to 2015, he partnered in business with Hunter Biden and Devon Archer, a friend of Hunter’s, on a scheme to rake in billions from overseas private equity investors.

“The entire value add of Hunter Biden to our business was his family name and his access to his father, Vice President Joe Biden,” Galanis said, adding that he once witnessed Hunter Biden put his dad on speakerphone at a restaurant in the company of other business associates.

“The Vice President said, ‘Hello,’ and some pleasantries, ‘Hope you had safe travels,’ and seemed like he wanted to bring the call to an end by saying, ‘Okay, you be good to my boy,’” Galanis said.

As part of the venture, Galanis went on to say that he “engaged in unlawful conduct” and was sent to prison. In 2016, the Justice Department announced charges against Galanis, Archer and five others for defrauding a Native American tribe and pension fund managers in a self-enrichment scheme. Though the defendants used Hunter Biden’s famous last name to sell their plans, prosecutors didn’t press charges against him. His lawyers have said he wasn’t involved.

In an interview last year, Archer told lawmakers that Hunter Biden put his father on speakerphone repeatedly in the company of clients, but the president only offered pleasantries and commentary on the weather — essentially the same thing Galanis said he witnessed. Archer said the elder Biden wasn’t involved in their work and that he was unaware of Joe Biden taking any action as a government official to benefit his son.

In his own deposition last week, Hunter Biden said he did not partner with Galanis and that he only knew his name from news reports.

“I think that 10 years ago, for 30 minutes, I was introduced to Jason Galanis, and that’s only ― the only time I ever recall meeting him,” he said. Republicans didn’t press for more.

Though he wasn’t charged alongside Galanis and Archer, the Justice Department has charged Hunter Biden with crimes for failing to pay his taxes on time and for illegally owning a firearm in 2018 while he was addicted to crack cocaine. Prosecutors have suggested they may seek additional charges.

Galanis said that while he was in a Florida prison last February, he applied for home confinement in California and was approved. However, the approval was reversed in July after Republicans announced their subpoena for Archer’s testimony. Galanis claimed that a former BOP official told him prosecutors weighed in on the request, and he said prison officials offered shifting justifications when they rejected his appeals. He said he received his current placement in Alabama in August after complaining of persistent sexual harassment from a prison staff member at the facility in Florida.

Although he’s been treated professionally at the Alabama prison, Galanis said his overall experience makes him suspect his past association with the president’s son has put a target on his back.

“From the experiences I’ve had in the criminal justice system, I believe I am putting myself at grave risk within the BOP for providing information into these matters concerning the president and his son,” he said.

Republicans first asked the BOP for time with Galanis in November, several months after his home confinement request had been denied and he had been transferred to Alabama.

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