President Joe Biden has come under scrutiny following his recent nomination of Hampton Dellinger for a role in the Office of the Special Counsel. Critics have expressed concerns due to Dellinger’s past association with Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.
The controversy stems from the fact that Dellinger and Hunter Biden previously worked together. Specifically, between 2009 and 2014, Hunter Biden was employed at the New York-based law firm Boies Schiller Flexner. Dellinger was part of the firm’s crisis management and government response team during this period. Evidence from Hunter Biden’s laptop suggests that the two had a close working relationship, frequently exchanging emails and attending the same social events.
Adding another layer to the controversy, Boies Schiller Flexner had represented Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company at the heart of corruption allegations involving the Bidens. Reports indicate that Hunter Biden introduced Burisma as a potential client to the firm after a dinner that Dellinger attended. However, it remains unclear if Dellinger had any direct involvement with Burisma-related matters.
The House Oversight Committee highlighted the potential conflict of interest in Dellinger’s nomination. They pointed out that the Office of the Special Counsel is responsible for investigating allegations of whistleblower retaliation. Given the recent testimonies of two IRS whistleblowers before the House Oversight Committee regarding the Department of Justice’s alleged hindrance of their investigation into Hunter Biden’s purported tax crimes, the nomination raises eyebrows.
Republican Representative Matt Gaetz voiced his concerns more vocally.
In a post, he described the Office of the Special Counsel as a “top federal watchdog” responsible for safeguarding civil servants from political targeting. Gaetz criticized the president for nominating a “close friend of Hunter” and urged Dellinger to withdraw his nomination. He warned that such an appointment could send a troubling message to civil servants, implying they might face retaliation if they probe into the alleged wrongdoings of the president’s family.
Fox News delved into the nature of the relationship between Hunter Biden and Dellinger. They highlighted their close professional ties during their tenure at Boies Schiller Flexner. The media outlet also pointed out that Dellinger had donated thousands of dollars to Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign.
The nomination has sparked a debate about the importance of not just actual impropriety but also the appearance of it. Critics argue that to maintain public trust, leaders should avoid even the semblance of a conflict of interest. They believe an upright president would have chosen a nominee without any connections to his family.
Joe Biden was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1972 and has since served in government for a long time. He might have blurred the line between propriety and impropriety after spending decades in politics.
Regardless, the nomination of Hampton Dellinger has ignited a fresh wave of debate and criticism. While the exact nature of his relationship with Hunter Biden and any potential conflicts of interest remain fully understood, the controversy underscores the importance of transparency and trust in public office nominations.