Two of the Democratic front-runners are facing new questions over their family finances.
More specifically: Have Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren’s relatives profited off their famous family names – and if so, did either candidate know about it?
“There [are] five Biden family members that got very, very good deals while Joe Biden was vice president of the United States,” investigative journalist Peter Schweizer claimed on Fox News.
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Biden – the current front-runner to take on President Donald Trump in November’s election – has repeatedly insisted he’s done no wrong, and taken no action to help these family members.
“I have never discussed, with my son or my brother or with anyone else, anything having to do with their businesses,” Biden insisted in an interview last year. “Period.”
But Schweizer paints a very unflattering portrait of the family finances in his new book, “Profiles in Corruption: Abuse of Power by America’s Progressive Elite.”
Whether Biden discussed it or not – whether he was even aware of it or not – some of his closest relations have earned big money. That money, Schweizer said, likely would not have been possible without Biden’s rise through politics.
“He’d been a prominent senator before that, but the ship really came in as far as these financial deals when he was vice president,” Schweizer said on Fox News. “Because all of these entities either wanted something from him, or they wanted to please the vice president of the United States, and the Biden family got rich as a result.”
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Excerpts shared by The New York Post go far beyond what the public already knows about Hunter Biden, the son who made $50,000 a month as a board member of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma despite no experience in the industry.
It details, for example, how two of Biden’s brothers also seemed to capitalize on the famous name.
In one instance, James Biden joined a company called HillStone during the Obama Administration just as the firm was negotiating contracts to build 100,000 homes in Iraq.
That was a deal backed by a South Korean company.
But another deal involved $22 million from the U.S. government to manage a construction project for the State Department, according to the Post excerpts.
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His brother Frank was allegedly involved in a number of projects in South America – precisely when Joe Biden was serving as Obama’s point man in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Frank Biden claimed in 2011 he didn’t use the family name for business purposes.
But the way he said it stuck many as curious.
“I never invoke his name other than to tell people I am his younger brother and I love him,” he told The Washington Post at the time.
He also admitted that the family name is “a tremendous asset” that grants him “automatic acceptance or at least listening to what I have to say.”
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Schweizer told Fox News that the two brothers, sister Valerie and two of Biden’s (adult) children – son Hunter and daughter Ashley – all “cashed in while he was vice president of the United States.”
Ethics experts have called out Biden over these conflicts.
“Joe Biden needs to recognize it’s a problem,” Richard Painter, a former chief White House ethics lawyer in the administration of George W. Bush, told Politico last year. “You can’t control your brothers. You can’t control your grown son. But you can put some firewalls in place in your own office.”
And Biden is just one Democratic target in the book.
Schweizer also exposes shady deals involving other leading candidates including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), among others.
One of the allegations against Warren is bound to raise eyebrows in the current international political climate.
Schweizer writes that her son-in-law Sushil Tyagi – husband of Warren’s daughter, Amelia – helped to produce a film in which the chief investors were “funded and controlled by the Islamist Iranian government,” according to an excerpt on the Breitbart website.
“Would Sushil Tyagi’s international business ties ever influence Warren’s decision making?” he writes in the book. “That is hard to know. What can be known is that his businesses could stand to benefit from her advocacy and proposed policies.”
And in what has to be an unwelcome surprise for all of these presidential hopefuls, the book is already climbing the charts.
It reached #11 on the Amazon.com best-seller list just one day after it was released.
— Walter W. Murray is a reporter for The Horn News. He is an outspoken conservative and a survival expert, and is the author of “America’s Final Warning.”