Friday, October 25, 2019

Report: Joe Biden as senator lobbied for Hunter's interests


Joe Biden twice used his position as a senior senator to boost his son Hunter's business interests, according to an investigation by the Washington Examiner.

The 2020 Democratic presidential candidate privately contacted the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department to discuss issues related to Hunter’s firm's lobbying clients, the Examiner said.

Joe Biden lately has faced scrutiny for his son's business dealings in Ukraine. Hunter Biden profited from a Ukrainian natural gas firm while his father was President Obama's point man for Ukraine policy. Joe Biden is on video boasting of threatening to withhold aid if the Ukrainian president didn't fire the prosecutor who was investigating Hunter Biden's firm. Joe Biden also backing policies that helped the Delaware-based credit card industry while Hunter was working for MBNA, headquartered in the state.

The Examiner reported government records show "strategic and highly-specific interventions that could have benefited his son to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars."

On Feb. 28, 2007, Biden reached out to the DHS to complain about proposed chemical security regulations. Eight weeks earlier, the Industrial Safety Training Council hired Hunter Biden’s firm to lobby DHS on the issue.

Hunter Biden was not registered as a lobbyist, but he was one of three senior partners of his company that ultimately was paid $200,000 for the work.

Tom Anderson of the watchdog National Legal and Policy Center told the Examiner that Joe Biden should have avoided any involvement on issues that his son's company was trying to influence.

"It's implausible Senator Biden did not know his son's firm was lobbying on this arcane issue," he said.

In 2007, Joe Biden also wrote to U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales asking for a meeting with the Department of Justice to discuss expanding the federal fingerprint background check system.

"I write to request your assistance in implementing an expanded background check system for our nation's volunteer organizations," Biden wrote.

At the same same, one of Hunter's firm's lobbying clients, called SEARCH, was lobbying the federal government for a bigger fingerprint screening system.

Joe Biden eventually introduced a bill called the Child Protection Improvements Act, which created a national fingerprint background check system for volunteer groups that worked with children.

Oldaker, Biden & Belair then began lobbying for the bill on behalf of SEARCH, according to lobbying records.

Hunter Biden co-founded SEARCH but stepped away from the company after his father became a vice presidential candidate in 2008.


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