Here we go again. The Biden family has done very well for themselves with the help of Joe Biden’s name and connections. Now there is another example of a family member cashing in on the family connection. An ad for a Florida law firm featured Joe Biden’s brother Frank touting their relationship. The ad ran on Inauguration Day. Subtle, eh?
The ad is on behalf of the Berman Law Group based in Boca Raton, Florida. Biden is a non-attorney adviser to the firm. Frank Biden has a home in Florida. In 2019 lawyers with the Berman Law Group filed a lawsuit alleging a link between controlled burns of sugar cane by the sugar industry and health issues of surrounding residents. Frank Biden joined the law group in 2018 as a senior adviser. Biden has spoken about the lawsuit since it was filed. As a matter of fact, he spoke about the lawsuit publicly the same day Joe Biden launched his environmental plan during his campaign. “Our request is simple, and it’s easily accomplished: Stop burning the cane,” Frank Biden said. At the time he was asked if there was any coordination between the lawsuit and the Biden presidential campaign. No, no, that isn’t what is happening here, he said. The timing of the lawsuit and Biden’s release of his environmental policy was only a coincidence.
“There was absolutely no coordination. It was serendipitous that Joe’s environmental policy came out today,” Biden said.
“Our thoughts are the same but there was no coordination.”
So, color me skeptical that this latest move by Frank is just another coincidence (wink, wink). The ad features Frank Biden and was printed in the January 20 edition of the Daily Business Review, also based in Florida. After CNBC ran its story on this, Frank responded, saying that he “has never used” his brothers to gain clients for his firm.
The ad focuses on a lawsuit the firm is leading against a group of Florida sugar cane companies. It features a photo of Frank Biden, along with quotes regarding his relationship with the incoming president and the family name.
In an email to CNBC, Frank Biden said he has not used his brother’s name to gain clients.
“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 Biden said. “I will never be employed by any lobbyist or lobbying firm.”
That’s an interesting take, right? Here is some more on the ad:
“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 in the paper says.
“My brother is a model for how to go about doing this work,” Frank Biden 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 judgement, and that’s what we’re doing by bringing this to court.”
The ad suggests that the firm hired Frank Biden due to the “Biden reputation for and motivation to engage in philanthropic, social and environmental issues that presented themselves.”
It then lists the 800 phone number for the firm, along with contact information for Frank Biden and the firm’s founders. Beyond class-action suits, the firm’s website says, it specializes in corporate law, real estate law and government relations, among others.
It might be believable that Frank Biden’s intentions are pure here if there wasn’t some history. However, there is some history about how the Biden family operates in the business world. Frank Biden has been described as a longtime real estate developer in Florida. Why would a law firm bring a real estate developer on board as an adviser to speak on environmental issues? I’m guessing Frank is the only adviser at the Berman Law Group with such a resume. There are also stories about the other Biden brother, James, and Joe’s son Hunter.
The law group issued a statement in support of Frank Biden.
After CNBC emailed the co-founders of the firm, Matthew Moore, one of Berman Law Group’s attorneys, responded on the office’s behalf. CNBC had asked the firm whether Frank Biden will be continuing to use the Biden name in future ads while his brother is president, among other questions. The firm’s response did not provide answers to those questions.
“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,” Moore said in an email. “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,” he added.
Richard Painter, chief White House ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush administration (and frequent Trump critic) says that Frank Biden has the right to promote the Biden family name but it’s not a good look for the Biden administration.
“The Biden White House has to have a very strict protocol on the using of the Biden name,” Painter told CNBC in an interview Wednesday. “Brothers, law firm associates and anyone else who is using the Biden name should not be contacting the president or anyone else working with the president.”
When he worked in the Bush administration, Painter said, he worked as part of a team of lawyers who contacted legal representatives for Bush family members and associates to encourage them not to use their last name for business purposes.
Don’t hold your breath for a career creature of The Swamp and his family to change their ways now that their relationship to the highest office in the land is catnip for more grifting opportunities. Does anyone really think Beijing Biden is unaware of all his family’s business dealings?