Politico busts Biden’s son-in-law in conflict of interest scandal

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Like son, like son-in law …

According to reports, Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden’s son-in-law, Howard Krein, has been advising his step-dad on coronavirus policy while simultaneously working for a company that’s investing in coronavirus startups. Sound familiar?

“In March, as Covid-19 began spreading in the United States, the investment firm, StartUp Health, unveiled a new coronavirus initiative soliciting pitches from entrepreneurs with products that addressed the outbreak,” Politico reported Tuesday.

The next month, reports in Bloomberg and the New York Times listed Krein among those participating in daily calls to brief Biden on health policy during the pandemic, while StartUp Health announced its intention to invest $1 million across 10 startups with coronavirus applications within 30 days.

Krein has served as StartUp Health’s chief medical officer since 2011, a year after he reportedly began dating then-Vice President Biden’s daughter, Ashley. A year later in 2012, he married into the family.

Around that same time, the company began to enjoy “close ties to the Obama administration” thanks to Krein, whom it “described … as a White House adviser,” according to Politico.

StartUp Health may also boast direct ties to Biden, as demonstrated by the repeat use of the term “moonshot” on its company website. That’s the same term used in Biden’s Cancer Moonshot initiative, which has faced recent accusations that the money it’s raised has done nothing but line the pockets of its top executives:

According to Politico, these facts combined “could pose conflict-of-interest concerns for a Biden administration or simply create the awkward appearance of Krein profiting off his father-in-law’s policies.”

Again, sound familiar?

Neither Biden nor Krein were willing to answer Politico’s questions about the matter, though a Biden campaign official did reportedly argue that the nominee’s son-in-law doesn’t have a “formal role” with the campaign.

But as noted by Politico, “[e]ven informal input or the perception of access can be valuable in health care, a heavily regulated sector that is influenced by federal policy and spending priorities.”

These findings fit into a pattern of Biden family members benefiting and profiting from their ties to the former vice president. The most notorious benefactor has been the current presidential nominee’s youngest son, Hunter.

“A son of Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden was paid an undisclosed amount of money as a consultant by MBNA, the largest employer in Delaware, during the years the senator supported legislation that was promoted by the credit card industry and opposed by consumer groups,” CBS News reported in 2008.

As for StartUp Health, its “foreign ties” and “sprawling portfolio of investments” could prove highly problematic if Biden wins the November race, according to Politico.

“One StartUp Health fund raised $31 million from investors, including the Swiss drugmaker Novartis and the Chinese insurer Ping An, in 2018. The firm’s website also lists the Chinese technology conglomerate Tencent as a ‘co-investor’ in its cancer moonshot initiative,” the outlet noted.

“StartUp Health’s sprawling portfolio of investments, meanwhile, would make tracking potential conflicts of interest a daunting task should Biden win the presidency. If Krein were to obtain an inside track on policymakers’ intentions, or if Biden appointees were to make policies favorable to companies in StartUp Health’s portfolio, there could be grounds for further investigation, ethicists said.”

When asked about what ethical safeguards Biden might pursue in light of these facts, a Biden campaign official reportedly pointed Politico to his infamous 2019 statement about Hunter’s activities.

“I have never discussed, with my son or my brother or with anyone else, anything having to do with their businesses. Period. And what I will do is the same thing we did in our administration. There will be an absolute wall between personal and private [business interests] and the government,” he’d said.

That was a bold-faced lie that’s been debunked over and over again, including as recently as this week.

Emails obtained by the New York Post this week prove that Hunter introduced his father to a top executive at the scandal-plagued Ukrainian energy firm Burisma in 2015.

“Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together. It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure,” the email reportedly reads.

Note that Biden met with the executive a year before he pressured Ukrainian officials to fire a prosecutor who’d been investigating the energy firm.

Another email reportedly shows one of Burisma’s top executives asking Hunter for “advice on how you could use your influence” on the company’s behalf.

That’s quite the finding given current concerns that Krein may use his influence with possible soon-to-be President Biden to help StartUp Health.

The emails were reportedly found on a laptop with a Beau Biden Foundation sticker that was dropped off at but never picked up from a computer repair shop in Biden’s home state of Delaware last year.

How is it known for certain that the emails are real and not just part of some hoax? Because the laptop also reportedly contains a video of Hunter “smoking crack while engaged in a sex act with an unidentified woman,” according to Post, not to mention photos of the Biden Family …

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Vivek Saxena

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