Amid a full-throttle effort to rehab the image of President Joe Biden‘s disgraced, ethically-challenged son Hunter, a new garbage fire is breaking out with Biden’s sleazy and equally unethical younger brother Frank.
Where Hunter and his other uncle, James, have pursued high-dollar influence-peddling operations with foreign governments and wealthy oligarchs, Frank has settled on a series of fast cons that even give Biden-family corruption a bad name.
That includes a convoluted scheme to secure state funding for a shady construction business that leased buildings to charter schools by agreeing to lobby (successfully) for a ban on the sale of horse meat.
Only in October, a month before the presidential election, did Frank finally agree to pay a $1 million settlement to the orphans of a man whom he and a younger male companion hit in 1999 while on a drunken bender in a rented Jaguar going more than double the speed limit.
Already, the president has warned his black-sheep brother about continuing to embark on the glorified con jobs that have long dotted his résumé .
“For Christ’s sake, watch yourself,” he told Frank, according to Politico. “Don’t get sucked into something that would, first of all, hurt you.”
But it seems Frank’s foibles, unlike Joe’s, will not be reined in so easily.
Just two weeks into his brother’s presidency, Frank’s non-attorney role in a Florida law firm is already raising major ethical problems for the White House, CNN reported.
He frequently touts his connection to his brother in advertising materials for the Boca Raton-based Berman Law Group, where he was hired to be a “senior adviser” in 2018.
That included a recent advertisement in which the firm trumpeted a lawsuit against a sugar-cane producer that referenced “incoming President Joseph Biden Jr.’s commitment to environmental and social justice.”
The conflicted with a new Biden-era policy—ostensibly a dig at the Trump administration—not to suggest that specific companies had a Biden endorsement.
Even worse, the firm last year launched two lawsuits against China and other Chinese government entities related to the coronavirus outbreak, despite his family’s close ties to the country.
But the firm insisted Frank was not involved in the litigation.
“We have not spoken with Federal Government officials about any of our cases,” Berman attorney Matthew Moore said in a statement to CNN.
“There have been no discussions between the firm (including Frank Biden), with President Biden, the campaign, transition, or administration about the law firm or any cases, including China related matters, nor will there be,” he said.
President Biden and several of his staff members have known links to operations—both legitimate and illegitimate—that relied heavily on Chinese benefactors.
Knowing the new leader is beholden to them China has recently taken a hard line in demanding that Biden abandon the Trump administration’s condemnation of the country’s human-rights abuses and other diplomatic concerns.
While facing multiple campaign scandals last year surrounding his family business deals—most notably Hunter’s involvement in Ukrainian and Chinese energy companies—Biden pledged to impose the new ethical guidelines as a reassurance of his trustworthiness.
Yet, the White House deflected on Frank’s ethical issues, insisting his business had nothing whatsoever to do with policymaking considerations.
“President Biden has set and maintained the highest ethical standards for himself, his administration, and those around him,” White House spokeperson Michael Gwin falsely claimed.
“…[H]e has pledged an ‘absolute wall’ with any family member’s private business interests,” Gwin conitinued. “Any implication to the contrary is flatly untrue and unsupported by the facts.”
If history is any judge, however, Joe will likely seek to distance himself while still keeping Frank within the bubble of his protective influence.
During the 20-year legal battle over Frank’s refusal to pay the $1 million settlement, Biden was confronted but insisted that his well-heeled brother was “penniless.”