Another week and another Joe Biden influence peddling scandal involving his n’er do well son Hunter.
According to a report in the Washington Examiner, Joe Biden attempted to use his Senate office to directly benefit his son’s lobbying efforts on two arcane topics.
The first incident comes in the form of unusual interest in a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulation:
On Feb. 28, 2007, Biden contacted DHS to express that he was “concerned about the Department’s proposed chemical security regulations authorized by Section 550 of DHS Appropriations Act of 2007,” according to the department’s log of its contacts with members of Congress.
Section 550, which was passed in 2006 as part of the DHS appropriations bill, requires high-risk chemical plants to submit site safety plans to DHS for approval, including security credentialing and training for employees.
Eight weeks earlier, the Industrial Safety Training Council had hired Hunter Biden’s firm to lobby DHS on the issue. The trade group, which represents companies that provide safety training for chemical facility employees, was mounting a heavy lobbying campaign over section 550, submitting congressional testimony about the need to expand background checks for chemical plant employees.
The Industrial Safety Training Council was seeking to expand the “language in DHS legislation regarding security clearance and credentialing for chemical facility employees and employers” in January 2007, according to lobbying disclosure records.
While Hunter Biden did not register as an individual lobbyist for the trade association, he was one of three senior partners in his firm at the time. The Industrial Safety Training Council paid Oldaker, Biden & Belair a total of $200,000 between early 2007 and the end of 2008.
It certainly seems odd that the senior Senator from Delaware would suddenly develop an intense interest in this rather tiny issue.
But Biden’s interest in arcane security projects was not limited to just chemical plant employees.
Biden also developed a keen interest in a new federal fingerprint background check system.
Biden also sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Jan. 31, 2007 requesting 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,” wrote Biden. “If we can work together to expand the number of volunteer organizations that have access to fast, accurate, and inexpensive fingerprint background checks, we will make significant and important strides in our ongoing effort to protect kids across our country.”
Biden added, “I would like to convene a small meeting with key representatives” from DOJ, the FBI, members of Congress and volunteer groups.
One of Hunter’s firm’s lobbying clients at the time, a coalition of state-level criminal justice advocates called SEARCH, was also lobbying the federal government for a broader fingerprint screening system at the time.
The same day as Biden’s letter, SEARCH adopted a resolution calling on Congress to consider “any effort to improve the quality, completeness and accessibility of criminal history records” and expand the current system to “allow the return of all criminal history record information maintained by the States on the search subject through a single fingerprint check.”
The group initially hired Oldaker, Biden & Belair in 2006 to lobby for federal funding for state-level criminal justice programs, paying the firm $114,000 over the next year. In early 2008, SEARCH was seeking funding “to assist states in development and use of information to accelerate automation of fingerprint authentication processes and criminal justice data which are compatible with the FBI’s” system, according to lobbying records.
Neither of these two incidents pass the smell test.
Clearly, powerful Senator Joe Biden was looking out for the lobbying interests of his son who was making a pretty penny for the privilege.
Of course, so far the mainstream media is keeping a lid on the burgeoning Biden scandals calling them “conspiracy theories.”
One wonders what they would call it if Donald Trump, Jr. was a paid lobbyist for a very arcane cause and his father intervened on behalf of that cause.