Commentary: Biden family values

"The more we learn about the Biden family’s money-making schemes, though, the more the Ukraine sinecure appears to be just the tip of the iceberg."

The Biden family has redefined America’s understanding of political corruption.

“Bidenous” adjective (bidənəs): (1) Having the appearance of being blatantly corrupt; (2) a type of financial dealing that results in inexplicable windfalls for members of Joe Biden’s family.

President Trump was clearly on to something when he started looking into former Vice President Joe Biden’s involvement in his son’s shady business dealings in Ukraine. As former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi explained during the Republican National Convention, Hunter Biden isn’t the only member of that clan who has profited handsomely through arrangements with people connected to their influential relative.

An in-depth Politico report, for instance, describes a highly suspicious real estate deal in the Virgin Islands involving Biden’s brother, James.

According to Politico, James Biden paid $150,000 for an acre of land on a small island in the Caribbean in 2005. One year later, after subdividing the property into three parcels, he sold one of the three lots to a lobbyist who once worked on Joe Biden’s Senate staff for the same amount he had paid for the entire property. In effect, Biden’s brother got a large plot of prime real estate in a tropical paradise for free.

Naturally, Joe Biden took advantage of his brother’s Caribbean getaway, vacationing there for three consecutive years, starting after his election as vice president in 2008. That’s pretty Bidenous.

The whole sordid affair bears a remarkable similarity to another eyebrow-raising land deal involving Biden’s former boss, Barack Obama. In 2005, the Obama family bought a property on the same day that the wife of real estate developer Tony Rezko purchased an adjacent lot. The Obamas paid about $300,000 below asking price for their new home, then subsequently purchased a 10-foot wide strip from the Rezkos for a little over $100,000.

Perhaps Obama tipped Biden off that real estate is a great way to conceal financial transactions, since property values are so subjective and variable.

That’s not the only way Biden’s family members have profited off their relation, though. In 2014, when Biden was serving as vice president, a nonprofit criminal justice organization that employed his daughter, Ashley, received a $166,000 federal grant through a program that Biden had long supported as a senator. As vice president, moreover, Biden helped direct $1.7 billion in additional funding to the grant program.

Just two months after receiving the grant, the Delaware Center for Justice promoted Ashley Biden to executive director, paying her a Bidenous salary of $82,000 — $13,000 higher than her predecessor had received the previous year.

Blood relation to Joe Biden, apparently, is a very lucrative asset. The scandal that invited such scrutiny into the Biden clan, after all, involved Hunter Biden’s $83,000-per-month position on the board of a Ukrainian gas company, despite Hunter having no experience with either natural gas or Ukraine. Hunter’s only connection to the country, in fact, seems to have been his father’s role as the Obama administration’s enforcer on Ukraine policy.

The more we learn about the Biden family’s money-making schemes, though, the more the Ukraine sinecure appears to be just the tip of the iceberg.

Indeed, we recently learned that the company that employed Hunter Biden, Burisma, landed lucrative contracts with the Obama-Biden administration just months after hiring the then-vice president’s son.

No wonder the Democrats are so eager to facilitate their candidate’s basement-bunker campaign strategy — the fewer opportunities there are to ask Biden uncomfortable questions, the lower the risk that he’ll accidentally let the mask slip and say something too revealing.

If Joe Biden is facilitating the Bidenous dealings of his family members, the American people deserve to know that before they cast their ballots.