Can we keep up with Biden Family Inc without a scorecard? While the nation grapples with Hunter Biden’s surprising $50K/month success in the Ukrainian energy business without any previous experience, Politico digs up another influence-peddling allegation involving Joe Biden’s brother James. A lawsuit accuses James of promising his brother’s endorsement if he could get favorable terms on a pending investment:
Joe Biden’s brother told executives at a healthcare firm that the former vice president’s cancer initiative would promote their business, according to a participant in the conversation, who said the promise came as part of a pitch on behalf of potential investors in the firm.
The allegation is the latest of many times Biden’s relatives have invoked the former vice president and his political clout to further their private business dealings. It is the first that involves the Biden Cancer Initiative, a project Joe Biden made the centerpiece of his post-White House life following the death of his son Beau.
Biden’s brother, James, made the promise to executives at Florida-based Integrate Oral Care during a phone call on or around November 8, 2018, according to Michael Frey, CEO of Diverse Medical Management, a health-care firm that is suing James Biden. At the time, James Biden’s business partners were pursuing a potential investment in Integrate, according to Frey and court records. Frey, who had a business relationship with James Biden and his associates, had introduced the group to Integrate.
James Biden told the Integrate executives that he would get the Biden Cancer Initiative to promote an oral rinse made by the firm and used by cancer patients, Frey, who said he participated in the call, told POLITICO. He added that James Biden directly invoked the former vice president on the call. “He said his brother would be very excited about this product,” Frey said.
The Bidens, they do get around. Politico’s Ben Schreckinger has done a lot of hard work this year to keep track of their attempts to peddle influence. Schreckinger broke the story in August about Hunter and James’ takeover of an investment fund and their apparent mission to use it as a way to curry foreign influence over Biden — or at least sell the fund as a means to do so. This new story from Schreckinger doesn’t have the foreign-influence angle but still alleges a corrupt intent, masked by the former VP’s efforts to support charitable work in honor of his eldest son’s tragic death from cancer.
Of course, if this was a one-off, the denials from James Biden’s office (included in Schreckinger’s report) might be more convincing. However, combined up with other reporting on Biden Inc, it’s tough to ignore the pattern. Peter Schweitzer wrote in March 2018 about the connections between Hunter and John Kerry’s son Christopher Heinz, their private equity firm, and China — at a time when their fathers had great influence over American foreign policy:
Rather than set up shop in New York City, the financial capital of the world, Rosemont Seneca leased space in Washington, DC. They occupied an all-brick building on Wisconsin Avenue, the main thoroughfare of exclusive Georgetown. Their offices would be less than a mile from John and Teresa Kerry’s 23-room Georgetown mansion, and just two miles from both Joe Biden’s office in the White House and his residence at the Naval Observatory.
Over the next seven years, as both Joe Biden and John Kerry negotiated sensitive and high-stakes deals with foreign governments, Rosemont entities secured a series of exclusive deals often with those same foreign governments.
Some of the deals they secured may remain hidden. These Rosemont entities are, after all, within a private equity firm and as such are not required to report or disclose their financial dealings publicly.
Some of their transactions are nevertheless traceable by investigating world capital markets. A troubling pattern emerges from this research, showing how profitable deals were struck with foreign governments on the heels of crucial diplomatic missions carried out by their powerful fathers. Often those foreign entities gained favorable policy actions from the United States government just as the sons were securing favorable financial deals from those same entities.
Nowhere is that more true than in their commercial dealings with Chinese government-backed enterprises.
Then, of course, came the New York Times report on Hunter’s business dealings in Ukraine. Hired by Burisma despite having little or no experience in the energy industry or in Ukrainian policy, Hunter nonetheless was getting $50,000 a month, and had been for two years before his dad threatened to withhold US military aid unless Petro Poroshenko fired the state prosecutor tasked with investigating corruption — including at Burisma. The Bidens hotly deny that the threat was tied in any way to protecting Hunter’s interests at Burisma, but the gross conflict of interest remains regardless — especially since the Burisma probe went nowhere after Biden’s successful intervention. At the very least, it’s still poisoning politics in both countries to this day.
Democrats still insist that their probe into Ukraine-Gate has nothing to do with Joe Biden. They’d better start realizing, however, that Biden’s the incarnation of much of their bluster about the Trump family over the last couple of years, and his nomination will end up negating almost all of those lines of attack. Imagine what another year of investigative reporting on Biden Inc might produce … and how much dirt Team Trump might already have.