Speed Reads

ethics

Biden's brother faces scrutiny for promoting relationship in law firm ad

Frank Biden, President Biden's brother, was featured in a newspaper ad for the Florida-based law firm where he works that ran on Inauguration Day in the Florida-based Daily Business Review, CNBC reports. In the ad, which promotes an environmental lawsuit against a group of Florida sugarcane companies, a picture of Frank Biden, a non-attorney senior adviser for the firm, is accompanied by quotes touting his relationship with his brother.

"My brother is a model for how to go about doing this work," one quote reads, while another states "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."

Richard Painter, who served as former President George W. Bush's chief White House ethics lawyer, said Frank Biden had a right to run the ad, but suggested it wasn't a good look for him or the new administration, which he said should encourage Frank Biden not to promote the family name and make it clear senior White House officials shouldn't engage with him. "The Biden White House has to have a very strict protocol on the using of the Biden name," Painter told CNBC. "Brothers, law firm associates, and anyone else who is using the Biden name should not be contacting the president or anyone else working with the president."

Frank Biden told CNBC in an email he has never "used my brother to obtain clients for my firm." Read more at CNBC.