Former Hunter Biden Associate Appeals to Supreme Court for New Trial
Devon Archer, a former business associate of Hunter Biden, has made an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, seeking a new trial in his criminal fraud case. Archer, who was convicted in 2018 for defrauding a Native American tribe, was sentenced to a year and a day in prison. His appeal does not implicate Hunter Biden in the case.
This is the second time Archer has taken his case to the Supreme Court. In the past, the justices declined to consider his request for a new trial. However, Archer is now bringing the same request back to the court after a lower court rejected his appeal.
In his appeal, Archer argues that a federal judge should have the authority to set aside a jury’s verdict and order a new trial “if the interest of justice so requires.” In his 2018 trial, a federal jury found Archer and several others guilty of securities fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud related to a scheme involving more than $60 million in tribal bonds.
The judge initially ordered a new trial for Archer because he had concerns that the evidence might show his innocence. However, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed with this decision, stating that the judge did not have the discretion to reweigh the evidence.
Archer’s attorneys have argued that this decision was incorrect, as it goes against the text of Rule 33, and it limits district courts’ ability to avoid miscarriages of justice. They claim that other courts of appeals provide district courts with more discretion to reevaluate trial evidence under Rule 33.
Archer’s appeal also includes a second issue related to his sentencing. His attorneys contend that the trial court inflated his recommended prison sentence due to a miscalculation of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. While the judge eventually imposed a sentence below the recommendation, the error went unnoticed until Archer began his appeal. The appeals court declined to consider this issue, stating that Archer had “forfeited” the error. Archer is requesting that the Supreme Court review the case to ensure that clear, unwaived, and fundamental errors do not go uncorrected.
The Justice Department has not provided a comment on Archer’s appeal to the Supreme Court.
Devon Archer’s appeal to the Supreme Court adds another layer to the legal scrutiny surrounding the business dealings of Hunter Biden and his associates. Archer’s connection to Hunter Biden and the ongoing investigations into their business activities have made him a prominent figure in House Republicans’ inquiries.
Archer’s appeal to the Supreme Court is likely to keep the legal and political spotlight on these high-profile cases and may have broader implications for how courts interpret rules related to criminal procedure and sentencing.