President Joe Biden’s brother, James Biden, has abandoned a new clean energy investment company he founded in the United Kingdom after an ethics review from the White House and new rules to eliminate conflicts of interest.
James Biden and his wife Sarah Biden had started a limited liability company called 2BT, Financial times reported, which planned to invest in companies that instead switch from using fossil fuels to green energy sources.
The Bidens and Peter Teare, a partner at Reed Smith, have formed another venture called Shelbourne Partners through 2BT, but that project has since been halted.
Teare told the Financial Times it would be a mistake to think the decision to scrap the company was related to the review, but didn’t seem to provide any other explanation as to why the project was halted.
James Biden and his wife Sarah Biden had started a limited liability partnership called 2BT, which recently launched in the UK and focused on investing in green projects
The project has since been halted after an ethics review from the White House and new rules put in place by the Biden administration to eliminate conflicts of interest.
Joe Biden, left, is pictured with his brother James Biden, right, at Ellen’s Homemade Ice Cream in Charleston, West Virginia in 2008
He told the outlet he was unable to discuss the Bidens’ private affairs, including reasons “why they may decide whether or not to seize a particular opportunity.”
Shelbourne Partners was established to “explore potential investment opportunities, particularly in the clean energy sector,” Teare told the Financial Times.
But just weeks after it launched, the White House completed a review of its business plans to comply with strict new rules put in place by President Biden’s administration.
The Biden administration has sought to draw a clear line between its approach to the business interests of his family members and that of former President Donald Trump, who has often been criticized for his family’s business interests.
He hired daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner as senior White House advisers, while son Donald Jr also acted as a campaign spokesperson for his father.
During the 2020 presidential election, Biden came under fire over revelations that his son Hunter Biden had taken a position on the board of a Ukrainian energy company called Burisma when he was vice president during the Obama administration.
Hunter did this despite having no apparent qualifications, and was paid up to $50,000 a month until April 2019, leading to accusations that he had used his father’s name and influence to land the job.
Before his inauguration, Joe Biden told Jake Tapper on CNN that his family members would not participate in business interests that conflict with his role as president.
“My son, my family will not be involved in any business or enterprise that is or appears to be in conflict, with the appropriate distance from the presidency and government,” Biden said.
The Financial Times explained that under Biden’s new procedures, the president’s family members must first disclose potential business plans to their own attorneys and notify White House legal counsel if necessary.
Hunter Biden, pictured in May, was questioned about his appointment to the board of directors of a Ukrainian energy company, despite having no experience in the field
The White House will then advise on whether the business plans should go ahead, but allow family members to make the final final call, the outlet reported.
“The president has adopted ethical rules and standards for his administration that exceed those of any other administration in history, including standards for his family members,” a White House official told the outlet.
The conclusions drawn from the ethical investigation into Shelbourne Partners have not been disclosed.
Shelbourne Partners is jointly owned by 2BT and another company, International Capital Investment.
Ricardo Nicolás Mallo Huergo, an Argentine lawyer, launched that company along with José Luis Manzano — a former congressman in Argentina who is also an aide to James Biden, the Financial Times reported.
Huergo and Manzano also head the Buenos Aires-based investment company Integra Capital, serving as general advisor and president respectively. Through Integra, Huergo and Manzano are already investing in traditional energy projects, including oil and gas.
Huergo told the Financial Times that Shelbourne Partners planned to fund projects aimed at transitioning from fossil fuels to clean energy.