More Biden Corruption Exposed: A Shady Land Deal in the Virgin Islands
On Tuesday morning, Politico published an exclusive report exposing even more Biden family corruption, and it has everything you'd expect from a huge scandal: a lobbyist, a shady land deal, oceanfront property...
...and, of course, the former vice president.
"In 2005, Joe Biden’s brother [James] bought an acre of land with excellent ocean views on a remote island in the Caribbean for $150,000. He divided it into three parcels, and the next year a lobbyist close to the Delaware senator bought one of the parcels for what had been the cost of the entire property," Politico reported. "Later, the lobbyist gave Biden’s brother a mortgage loan on the remaining parcels."
The lobbyist involved in this shady land deal, Scott Green, is a former Biden staffer who left the Senate in the early 90s.
The Virgin Islands land deal, Politico notes, "furthers 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." The property has remained undeveloped, and it is not clear why James Biden sought the loan from Green rather than from a bank. The terms of the loan were not disclosed in property records.
It is not known whether Joe Biden was aware of the land deal, but, following Green's purchase of the land, he "continued to lobby on issues over which Biden wielded influence and to meet with Biden’s staff." Green’s firm also went on to win government contracts "related to federal programs for which Biden advocated."
Politico attempted to get the Biden campaign to comment on the upcoming story for weeks. Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates only provided a statement shortly before publication. "Joe Biden was wrong. Politico does have a sense of humor. Because this story is an absolute joke," Bates said.
So, I guess they didn't deny any wrongdoing.
Green didn't respond to requests for comment either.
Records show the value of Green's plot was assessed at $38,000 in 2006—a quarter of the $150,000 purchase price. In 2013, the value was assessed at $83,700.
Since the shady land deal, "the U.S. Virgin Islands have been a favored destination for the Biden clan. In between election night 2008 and Barack Obama’s inauguration, Biden and his family traveled to Water Island over the winter holidays. As vice president, he returned to the island over the next two holiday seasons."
This is all part of a pattern in Biden family corruption. James Biden served as finance chairman on Joe's first Senate campaign in 1972, before persuing "an entrepreneurial career that regularly intersected with Joe’s public duties." Politico notes that Jame Biden "once sought to launch a Washington lobbying firm, but the venture was cut short when his would-be partners were convicted of attempting to bribe a judge in an unrelated matter," and he's been accused by former business contacts "of seeking to exploit the former vice president’s clout for financial gain in court proceedings in New York, Kentucky, and Florida." This land deal was also not the first time a Biden-tied lobbyist had been involved with James Biden's finances. "In an unrelated episode, he and Joe’s son, Hunter, took out loans worth seven figures from WashingtonFirst Bank to repay a business debt around 2006. The bank was co-founded by a lobbyist and Biden adviser who was also a lobbying partner of Hunter Biden’s for several years."
It's a dirty business, but if you're related to Joe Biden, it's a profitable one.
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama's Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis