President Biden was joined by his family — including his son Hunter, who is under investigation by the Justice Department — at a White House prayer service Thursday, a day after being sworn into office.
Biden, first lady Jill Biden and other members of the first family as well as Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, were seated in the State Dining Room of the White House for the virtual ceremony hosted by the Washington National Cathedral. They were later joined by Hunter Biden and his wife during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Hunter Biden, who was a former board member of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma when Joe Biden was Obama’s vice president, is currently under investigation by the Justice Department, which is probing his finances, including some of his alleged Chinese business dealings.
Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings and the possible involvement of his father had been an issue during the 2020 presidential campaign, after emails reported to have been from Hunter’s laptop revealed conversations related to business with a Chinese-owned company.
In December, Hunter Biden acknowledged the probe but maintained he handled his affairs “legally.”
“I take this matter very seriously but I am confident that a professional and objective review of these matters will demonstrate that I handled my affairs legally and appropriately, including with the benefit of professional tax advisors,” he said at the time.
Potential conflicts of interest between members of the Biden family because of their business interests and Joe Biden’s new position as president have not yet been addressed by the administration.
President Biden repeatedly pledged on the campaign trail to erect “an absolute wall” between the presidency and his family’s financial interests, but it remains to be seen how he accomplishes this.
President Biden’s son-in-law, Howard Krein, who is married to his daughter, Ashley, is an executive at StartUp Health, a venture capital and health tech firm, which lobbied the government on health industry technology regulations.
And his brother James has repeatedly found lucrative work over the years by invoking the Biden name.
Family members also serve on two nonprofits, The Biden Institute at the University of Delaware and the Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children.
Meanwhile, in one of his final acts in office, former President Donald Trump undid an ethics executive order under his administration, which included a five-year ban on former officials lobbying their former agencies, essentially freeing these officials from lingering concerns that they could face consequences for running afoul of the ethics policy as they return to the private sector.
Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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