FGI investigates effort by President’s brother to cash in on family name under guise of environmental justice

Frank Biden scheme to use environmental justice agenda to develop class action lawsuit presents ethical landmines for senior government officials

March 6, 2023

(Washington, DC) – Today, the Functional Government Initiative (FGI) announced an investigation into potential inappropriate interference by Frank Biden, the President’s brother, on an issue that has seen increased attention among several agencies within the Biden Administration. Since January 2021, the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Justice all have taken action or appear set to take up a high-profile issue being promoted by the President’s brother. The degree of Frank Biden’s involvement in driving these actions is a key focus of the investigation.

The issue revolves around the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), the practice of sugar field burning and environmental justice initiatives to form the policy and legal bases for lowering the already controversial national standards. As it stands, the President’s brother appears intent on using the sugar burning issue to enrich his current employer, a Florida law firm that has attempted to develop a class action around the issue. At least one misstep by Mr. Frank Biden has already been reported when his employer, the Berman Law Group, ran an ad in the Daily Business Review on President Biden’s Inauguration Day attempting to leverage their employee’s famous last name. The ad promoted a class action lawsuit against Florida sugar cane growers after the firm made the claim that controlled burns in sugar fields affect the health of nearby residents, particularly those communities at the center of the administration’s major environmental justice push.

Since the ad ran, the EPA has met often with powerful special interests, notably the Sierra Club, that appear to have been pulled into the President’s brother’s issue campaign. The effort at EPA to implement stricter NAAQS standards as part of the increasingly expansive environmental justice agenda appears well underway. As a supportive measure, the DOJ may be jumping in to the fray with its environmental justice litigation strategy placing companies at the center of environmental justice claims likely top targets. Unfortunately, these facts only validate concerns of inappropriate political interference and coercion by the President’s brother and his allies.

FGI has submitted FOIAs to the EPA seeking to discover to what extent Frank Biden or any of his associates at the Berman Law Group had contact with anyone at these agencies regarding sugar cane burns. Along with these FOIA requests, FGI has also submitted a FOIA to NASA. In July 2021, seven months after Frank Biden’s class action lawsuit ad, it was reported that NASA awarded a research grant of “over a quarter of a million dollars” to investigate these issues. Given the timeline of events and the possibility that the research could aid Frank Biden’s class action lawsuit, the highly respected space agency may prove yet another player in a potential influence scheme.

Peter McGinnis, spokesman for FGI, issued the following statement:

“While advertising yourself as ‘the president’s brother’ to gain clients is an ethical grey area, using that title to gain special access to government agencies is not. The timeline of Berman Law Group’s class action lawsuit and the EPA’s policy action, DOJ’s environmental justice office, and NASA’s research funding into the very same issue pushed by Frank Biden raise too many red flags to ignore. Americans deserve to know if their tax dollars went towards aiding Frank Biden’s various business endeavors and the environmental justice advocates allied with the Biden Administration.”