Why the Biden Institute's Position of Donor Disclosure Sounds Familiar

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Posted: Jan 19, 2021 4:05 AM
Why the Biden Institute's Position of Donor Disclosure Sounds Familiar

Source: AP Photo/Matt Slocum

So, who gives to Joe Biden’s policy institute? The truth is we don’t know, and we won’t for a while. We may not know at all. The Biden Institute said they’re not disclosing anything when the former vice president assumes the presidency on January 20. This sounds eerily familiar with a certain former first lady and secretary of state who tried to run in 2016. You know that slush fund, I mean the charitable foundation that bears her name. Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden share a common issue regarding transparency over their networks (via Free Beacon):

The Biden Institute, a policy research center founded by Joe Biden at the University of Delaware, has no plans to disclose its donors after the president-elect takes office, Politico reported on Monday.

Legal experts and watchdog groups said the lack of transparency could create an ethical dilemma for Biden, particularly if he keeps his name on the institute and it continues to fundraise while he’s in the White House.

"They should at the very least disclose their donors, and I think the Biden family should at the very least take their name off if they’re going to continue to raise money," former George W. Bush administration chief ethics lawyer Richard Painter told Politico.

The Biden Institute, which had many of Biden’s incoming administration staffers on its payroll, is part of a network of foundations and policy centers that he established after his vice presidency.

The institute is currently in the middle of a large fundraising push to raise $20 million that is expected to continue well into Biden’s presidency.

Oh, Richard Painter, the former Bush ethics lawyer and favorite anti-Trump GOP guest on the liberal media circuit, is back. Actually, I think he’s a Democrat now but who are you kidding man? Biden’s won the election. The media throughout 2020 didn’t ask him real questions. When they did, he ignored them. He’s going to drag his feet for as long as possible in the hopes that the media moves on, which they probably will because that’s what they do. They protect Democratic presidencies, especially one as frail as this one. 

In 2016, the Clinton Foundation was under immense scrutiny for its position on donor disclosure, but Hillary was still running. She already had the reputation of being secretive, playing politics all the time, and thinking she lived by a separate set of rules. She was unlikable. And as it is with Biden, there are ethical concerns, especially when super-rich folks dump money into your foundation which leads to some event benefitting the parties who offered the cash. 

Colombia is a prime example. Hillary was against the Colombia Free Trade Agreement until Frank Giustra of Pacific Rubiales, an oil company, cut some checks to the Clinton Foundation. In fact, it was later discovered that over 1,100 foreign donations. There’s a reason why many saw the foundation as a favor bank for the wealthy and well-connected. Drop some money and call in the favor later. That’s the Clinton way. Will that be the same with Joe Biden? As we saw with Hunter Biden’s emails during the 2020 election, Joe isn’t squeaky clean. He’s involved in the access deals his son makes with government officials. He even appears to have intervened to protect those interests beneficial to only his family at the expense of American foreign policy initiatives. You saw that when he asked for a Ukrainian prosecutor to be fired, withholding aid money unless that occurred. It did. The prosecutor was looking into Burisma, an energy company, on corruption charges. His son Hunter was there making $50,000/month as a board member starting in 2014 but was reportedly there selling access to top Obama officials. With regards to China, that deal was hashed out from the VP’s office. It fell through in 2017, but Tony Bobulinski corroborated the account, turned over all documents and devices relating to that pitch to CEFC China Energy, and was interviewed by the FBI. To no one’s shock, CEFC has ties to the nation’s authoritarian government. Get paid first and then ask questions later appears to be the Biden family ethos. It’s not so different from the Clinton model.