President Joe Biden’s brother Frank promoted his ties to the U.S. president in an advertisement for the south Florida law firm he works for.
Frank is not an attorney, but he is listed on the website of the Berman Law Group in Boca Raton as a “senior adviser” to the firm. The president’s sibling touted his connection to the commander-in-chief in an inauguration day ad that appeared in Florida’s Daily Business Review, according to CNBC.
The Jan. 20 advertisement that Frank appeared in publicized a case the law firm is litigating against Florida sugar producers over controlled burns. The ad makes repeated mentions of Frank and Joe’s relationship.
“The two Biden brothers have long held a commitment to pushing environmental issues to the forefront; the president-elect has vowed to rejoin the Paris Agreement and wants to set ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets, for example,” the ad says according to CNBC.
“My brother is a model for how to go about doing this work,” Frank says in the ad. “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.”
Frank, who joined the Berman Law Group in July 2018, joined the firm the same day that Joe, then a Democratic presidential candidate, announced his campaign’s environmental plan. In a comment to CNBC, Frank denied that he had ever used his connection to Joe to ever drum up business for the law firm.
“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 said in a statement. “I will never be employed by any lobbyist or lobbying firm.”
The law firm declined to say whether it intended to keep touting its adviser’s connection to the White House in future ads. When asked whether Frank would continue to publicize his connection to the president in future ads, an attorney for the Berman Law Group told CNBC: “Frank Biden has been with the Berman Law Group for years. He is a champion for social justice, advocating against corporate behemoths that prey on the little guy … The big sugar case has been around for more than 2 years and is the poster child for corporate influence. We are honored to have Frank Biden stand with us as leaders for social justice.”
When CNBC asked the White House to weigh in on the ad, a White House official responded: “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 [be] understood to imply, his endorsement or support.”
President Biden’s family members have frequently entangled themselves in scandals over allegations of profiting off of their relationship to Biden, a former vice president of the U.S. In January of last year, Frank was found to be involved in a land deal with a lobbyist that the news outlet Politico reported at the time 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.”
Joe’s son Hunter has also been implicated in several business deals that have sparked allegations of corruption. At least one of them has resulted in an FBI investigation, which Hunter announced in December.
“I learned yesterday for the first time that the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Delaware advised my legal counsel, also yesterday, that they are investigating my tax affairs,” Hunter said in a statement. “I take this matter very seriously but I am confident that a professional and objective review of these matters will demonstrate that I handled my affairs legally and appropriately, including with the benefit of professional tax advisors.”
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