Joe Biden is having what’s known as a “bad one.”
The rapidly accelerating whistleblower scandal that’s threatening to torpedo the Trump administration has also brought the former vice president’s son Hunter’s business dealings—and Biden’s own role in helping to get a corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor fired—back to light, with Trump’s enthusiastic encouragement. On top of that, Biden’s frontrunner status has all but evaporated in recent days as rival Elizabeth Warren has climbed in the polls.
Now, Politico reports today that during a business pitch in November of last year, Biden’s brother James invoked the Biden Cancer Initiative and promised that his brother’s very public anti-cancer efforts would benefit a Florida-based private healthcare company. Per Politico:
Biden’s brother, James, made the promise to executives at Florida-based Integrate Oral Care during a phone call on or around November 8, 2018, according to Michael Frey, CEO of Diverse Medical Management, a health-care firm that is suing James Biden. At the time, James Biden’s business partners were pursuing a potential investment in Integrate, according to Frey and court records. Frey, who had a business relationship with James Biden and his associates, had introduced the group to Integrate.
James Biden told the Integrate executives that he would get the Biden Cancer Initiative to promote an oral rinse made by the firm and used by cancer patients, Frey, who said he participated in the call, told POLITICO. He added that James Biden directly invoked the former vice president on the call. “He said his brother would be very excited about this product,” Frey said.
A spokesman for James Biden and Platinum Global Partners vehemently denied the allegations. “These charges stem from a frivolous lawsuit and are pure fantasy. We are not surprised that such baseless accusations have emerged during the Democratic primaries,” David Fuscus told Politico. “Jim Biden has been clear and consistent that he does not, and has never, discussed his business ventures with his brother.”
The lawsuit in question, filed in Tennessee, has Frey and Diverse Medical Management suing Biden and three other businessmen over allegations of fraud. Additionally, Politico’s report disclosed that Integrate is also suing Biden’s business partners at Platinum in the state of Florida.
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The Biden campaign referred Politico to a lawyer who couldn’t offer further comment but noted the Biden Cancer Initiative suspended operations on July 11, citing its “unique circumstances.”
“We remain personally committed to the cause, but at this time will have to pause efforts,” BCI president Greg Simon said in a statement released at the time. “We thank the community for their incredible response to our mission to improve the cancer journey for patients and to improve outcomes for all patients for generations to come.”
How this all shakes out legally is anyone’s guess, but it appears that the lesser-known Bidens also have a gift for sketchiness. And for Joe Biden himself, who’s already dealing with a crisis that could potentially eradicate the biggest variable he has going for him—his strong poll numbers against Trump in a head-to-head matchup—this is yet another headache he really doesn’t need.