President Joe Biden's likely pick for the new chief of staff, Jeff Zients, met with the president's son Hunter Biden at least three times, the Western Journal reported. The younger Biden is currently under Congressional and criminal investigations for his shady business dealings.
Chief of Staff Ron Klain announced his departure would happen in the coming weeks leaving the position wide open as Biden heads into the second half of his term. Rumblings in Washington, D.C., predict Biden will tap Zients, who was his COVID-19 czar before stepping down from the position in April.
This could be problematic considering the history between Zients and Hunter Biden. Information found on the younger Biden's infamous abandoned laptop revealed meetings between the pair that could indicate his involvement in Hunter Biden's legal entanglement.
Although it's unclear what would have been discussed, there are important details that point in that direction for Zients. These meetings all occurred in 2016 when Biden was vice president under former President Barack Obama, and Hunter Biden was exploiting that fact.
Two of the meetings took place at the U.S. Naval Observatory, the vice presidential residence, with the elder Biden involved. The first known meeting was on Feb. 12, 2016, between Zients, the Bidens, and David Rubinstein.
Rubinstein is the founder of the Carlyle Group investment firm based in Delaware, the Bidens' home state, and has ties to the World Economic Forum, Fox News reported. He is also the owner of a vacation home that the president likes to frequent in Nantucket, Massachusetts, suggesting a cozy relationship with the family.
Just two weeks later, the trio met with David Bradly, a political consultant in Washington, D.C., and head of Atlantic Media, and Steve Ricchetti, a former lobbyist. Ricchetti has since been tapped to be the White House senior counselor.
The third known meeting occurred on May 24, 2016, again with Hunter Biden, Zients, and Bradley. They were joined this time by Dr. Eric Lander, a scientist who would become the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy until his ouster in February last year.
Also at that meeting was Richard Klausner, who had served as executive director of global health for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as well as head of the National Cancer Institute. Klausner is a deep-pocketed investor in the biotech industry as well.
Another meeting took place with Bradley, Zients, Lander, and Joe Biden on July 12, 2016, at the vice presidential residence. It's unclear whether Hunter Biden attended, but his father's assistant at the time sent a copy of the agenda following that meeting.
Notably, Bradley, Zients, and Lander would all go on to join the board of directors for the president and first lady Jill Biden's non-profit Biden Cancer Initiative. It's unclear if the nonprofit was discussed at any of those meetings, but the initiative was launched in June 2017.
The ties between Zients and Hunter Biden do little to dispel suspicions that the younger Biden was trading on his father's powerful name. Hunter Biden is currently under investigation by Republican lawmakers as well as federal investigators looking into tax evasion and other questionable business dealings.
"The American people deserve transparency and accountability about the Biden family’s influence peddling," Rep. James Comer, chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, said. "With the new Republican majority, Oversight Committee Republicans will continue pressing for answers to inform legislative solutions to prevent this abuse of power," the Kentucky Republican added.
The whole Biden family seems to be entrenched in these worrisome connections. It's no surprise then that the president would choose someone from his web of entanglements to serve as his chief of staff.