President Biden forewarned brother Frank Biden not to get involved in business deals that might tarnish the family name before he touted his relationship with the the new president in an Inauguration Day ad, according to a new report.
Frank Biden bragged about his proximity to the new commander-in-chief in a ad for a Florida legal firm with which he does business. The Berman Law Group, based in Boca Raton, ran a print ad on Jan. 20 focusing on a lawsuit it has against a group of Florida sugar cane companies.
But Joe Biden reportedly warned his brother during his 2020 presidential campaign.
“For Christ’s sake, watch yourself,” Biden said, according to a Politico report published Thursday. “Don’t get sucked into something that would, first of all, hurt you.”
According to a CNBC report, the ad, taken out in the Daily Business Review newspaper, features a photograph of Frank Biden alongside several quotations connecting the adviser to President Biden.
“The two Biden brothers have long held a commitment to pushing environmental issues to the forefront; the president-elect has vowed to rejoin the Paris Agreement and wants to set ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets, for example,” reads the ad.
Biden rejects the argument that he’s using his brother’s name and power to promote his business efforts.
“In an email to CNBC, Frank Biden said he has not used his brother’s name to gain clients,” the report said. “I have never used my brother to obtain clients for my firm. Our firm has long been involved [with] this lawsuit. Social justice is something I have been involved in for years,” Frank Biden said. “I will never be employed by any lobbyist or lobbying firm.”
The White House later told CNBC: “It is this White House’s policy that the president’s name should not be used in connection with any commercial activities to suggest, or in any way that could reasonably be understood to imply, his endorsement or support.”
The ad indicates that the law firm turned to Frank Biden as an adviser based on the “Biden reputation for and motivation to engage in philanthropic, social and environmental issues.”
“My brother is a model for how to go about doing this work,” says Frank in the ad.
The business dealing of other members of President Biden’s family came under scrutiny during the 2020 campaign.
President Biden’s son Hunter had a lucrative deal with the Ukraine natural gas company Burisma Holdings while his father was vice president. And Biden’s other brother, James, was under scrutiny for his connection to the bankrupt hospital business Americore Health.