With Biden now commander-in-chief, his family’s business dealings have come under a new level of scrutiny and officials in the administration are keenly aware of possible land mines.
Biden, himself, is aware of the issue and the potentially troubling optics surrounding his family’s professional dealings while he sits in the Oval Office.
During his presidential campaign, he took Frank aside and issued a warning.
‘For Christ’s sake, watch yourself,’ Biden said of his brother’s potential business dealings, a person with knowledge of the conversation told Politico. ‘Don’t get sucked into something that would, first of all, hurt you.’
It appears Frank Biden did not heed his brother’s advice, touting his relationship with the president in an ad for his law firm and using another potential business partner’s private jet to travel to Biden’s swearing-in ceremony.
Frank Biden’s business dealings could cause a headache for Joe Biden’s White House – the two brothers are seen above at a black tie event when Biden was vice president along with Frank’s partner Mindy Ward
President Joe Biden has vowed to bring integrity back to the White House and he warned his brother Frank: ‘For Christ’s sake, watch yourself’
On Inauguration Day, Frank Biden promoted his relationship with the president in an advertisement for the Berman Law Group in Boca Raton, Fla, where he’s listed as a non-attorney adviser.
Frank Biden was featured in the firm’s ad in the Daily Business Review along with quotes describing his relationship with the new president and their family name.
‘My brother is a model for how to go about doing this work,’ Frank Biden said in the ad, according to CNBC. ‘One of his central tenets is that one should never question another man’s or woman’s motives or assign blame to them. That way, you avoid creating a disparity that prevents any kind of coming together. You can of course question someone’s judgment, and that’s what we’re doing by bringing this to court.’
John Morgan, a Florida attorney who’s a major Democratic donor, told Politico that the Biden team was concerned about Frank’s business ties in the wake of that ad.
‘What Frank told me is ‘my brother loves me dearly, but if I lobbied, he would cut my legs from underneath me,’ Morgan said.
‘Frank made it clear to me what the president made clear to him: The day he got elected, the long knives came out for all things Biden,’ Morgan noted. ‘There’s a target on all of them.’
Morgan also expressed his admiration for Frank Biden and revealed he loaned him is private jet to fly to Washington D.C. for Joe Biden’s inauguration.
‘Great guy,’ Morgan said of Frank. ‘I had my jet take him to the inauguration.’
He also said he’d talked to Frank Biden, about doing some work for his firm, Morgan & Morgan, which bills itself as ‘America’s Largest Injury Law Firm.’
But he clarified the work would be a ‘100 percent legal focus’ and wouldn’t involve any lobbying.
There is no evidence of any wrong doing on Frank Biden’s part.
But, in politics, appearance matters and any hint any member of the Biden family would profit off their brother’s position could become a political hot potato.
Frank Biden is a non-lawyer adviser to the Berman Law Group, based in Florida, and was in an ad for the firm touting his relationship with his brother
John Morgan, a Florida attorney who’s a major Democratic donor, said he loaned Frank Biden his jet to go to President Biden’s inauguration and has spoken to Frank Biden about future business deals
Hunter Biden quit the board of the Ukrainian company Bursma after his work there became an issue during the campaign. The president’s younger brother James also has faced criticism for his business dealings, including using his brother’s name to boost his client list.
After CNBC reported on the Frank Biden’s law firm ad, the presidential brother told the business network he hasn’t used his brother’s name to gain clients.
‘I have never used my brother to obtain clients for my firm. Our firm has long been involved [with] this lawsuit. Social justice is something I have been involved in for years,’ Frank Biden said. ‘I will never be employed by any lobbyist or lobbying firm.’
And a White House official said the president’s name shouldn’t be used in business activities.
‘It is this White House’s policy that the President’s name should not be used in connection with any commercial activities to suggest, or in any way that could reasonably understood to imply, his endorsement or support,’ the official told CNBC.
During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump repeatedly hammered Hunter Biden for his past dealings in China and Ukraine.
Joe Biden, while running for president, pledged he would build an ‘absolute wall’ between the White House and his relatives. He also pledged that no one in his family would serve on foreign boards.
In December, Hunter Biden released a statement saying there was a federal investigation into his taxes, which raised questions about how the Justice Department under Joe Biden would handle his son.
President Biden pledged his Justice Department would be independent and he would not interfere in its work. But questions about Hunter are likely to be asked during confirmation hearings for Biden’s attorney general nominee Merrick Garland.