In an exclusive report Tuesday, Politico revealed a previously undisclosed land deal involving Joe Biden’s brother that the left-leaning outlet presents as furthering “a pattern in which members of the Biden family have engaged in financial dealings with people with an interest in influencing the former vice president.”
The newly reported deal, which began in 2005, involved Biden’s brother James Biden and Scott Green, who was a staffer in the 1980s and ’90s for then-Senator Biden before becoming a lobbyist, and whose clients, Politico underscores, “benefited from Biden’s support and appropriations requests” both “before and after” the deal with his brother.
“In 2005, Joe Biden’s brother bought an acre of land with excellent ocean views on a remote island in the Caribbean for $150,000,” Politico’s Ben Schreckinger reports. “He divided it into three parcels, and the next year a lobbyist close to the Delaware senator bought one of the parcels for what had been the cost of the entire property. Later, the lobbyist gave Biden’s brother a mortgage loan on the remaining parcels.”
The lobbying firm Green co-founded, Schreckinger explains, “specializes in federal contracts for niche law enforcement and national security programs for which Biden long advocated.” It also makes a point of featuring Biden on its website, including a quote from the former Senator praising Green’s “emotional investment” in his work.
Many details surrounding the deal are “unclear,” Schreckinger writes, including whether Joe Biden was aware of the transactions at the time. But it is clear that after the deal Green “continued to lobby on issues over which Biden wielded influence and to meet with Biden’s staff” and “continued to land government contracts related to federal programs for which Biden advocated.”
Biden’s campaign declined a request for comment from Politico, but spokesperson Andrew Bates offered a blistering response: “Joe Biden was wrong. Politico does have a sense of humor. Because this story is an absolute joke.”
Politico notes that the property in question “remained vacant and undeveloped.” Why Green purchased it from James Biden and why Biden took out a loan with the lobbyist rather than a bank remain “unclear,” Schreckinger writes. Also unclear is why Green paid a “dramatically higher price” for the property.
In the report, Schreckinger also provides a brief bio sketch of James Biden that includes some unflattering details:
James Biden, six years Joe’s junior, served as finance chairman on his older brother’s first Senate campaign in 1972. He went on to pursue an entrepreneurial career that regularly intersected with Joe’s public duties. He once sought to launch a Washington lobbying firm, but the venture was cut short when his would-be partners were convicted of attempting to bribe a judge in an unrelated matter. He has previously been accused by former business contacts of seeking to exploit the former vice president’s clout for financial gain in court proceedings in New York, Kentucky, and Florida, though he has denied such claims.
The issue of corrupt dealings among the Bidens is at the heart of the impeachment trial, as Trump’s camp maintains that the president’s urging of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to “look into” corruption allegations involving Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden was based on legitimate concerns.