As Hunter Biden's curious appointment to the board of a Ukrainian energy company grows into a primary narrative during President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, Politico reported another potential example of a Biden family member benefitting from former Vice President Joe Biden's political influence.
Politico's Ben Schreckinger reported Tuesday that Joe's brother, James, received an extremely favorable land deal from a lobbyist who has close ties to Joe and who has benefitted from Joe Biden's advocacy for years.
James Biden bought an acre of land in the U.S. Virgin Islands in 2005 for $150,000. He divided that acre of land into three parcels. A year later, a lobbyist named Scott Green purchased one of those parcels for $150,000. James Biden not only kept most of the land, but he got his initial investment back.
Tax bills from that time showed the parcel of land Green purchased had an assessed value of $38,000.
Then, in 2010, that same lobbyist and his wife gave James Biden a $133,300 mortgage on the other two parcels of land from the original acre. In 2013, they released that mortgage, saying they had received full payment.
Green worked as a Senate Judiciary Committee staffer under then-Sen. Joe Biden in the 1980s, before transitioning to the private sector and founding the lobbying firm the Lafayette Group in 1994. That group appeared to have a very favorable and profitable relationship with Biden. From Politico:
In the Senate, Biden over the years proposed appropriations for many of the niche areas in which the firm specialized, including "interoperable communications" for first responders and "fusion centers" for processing threat-related intelligence.
Lafayette Group's government contracting business extended into the Obama years, as did Green's ties to Joe Biden. Government data shows tens of million of dollars in contract awards to the firm from federal agencies over the course of the Obama administration
A spokesman for Biden's presidential campaign did not comment on the details of the Politico story, but dismissed it in general.
"Joe Biden was wrong. Politico does have a sense of humor. Because this story is an absolute joke," spokesman Andrew Bates told Politico.