Biden & Pelosi-Linked Firms Received Huge Payouts from Taxpayer-Funded PPP
Coronavirus relief money handed to companies tied to top Democrats
Firms linked to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) received massive taxpayer-funded payouts from the PPP coronavirus relief fund, according to reports.
A prominent Delaware law firm founded by former Vice President Biden received a loan for between $150,000 and $350,000, records released Monday by the Treasury Department and the Small Business Administration have revealed.
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a fund approved by Congress to prove much-needed aid to small businesses amid the COVID-19 crisis.
In a statement, the Trump campaign notes that the records conflict with recent messaging from the Biden campaign.
Biden's team has previously slammed the PPP as both ineffective and a vehicle to reward Trump's "cronies."
“Instead of attacking President Trump as an involuntary reflex, maybe Joe Biden should just say ‘thank you’ once in a while," Tim Murtaugh, Trump campaign director of communications, said in response to the news.
"The PPP saved 51 million jobs nationally, including at Biden’s old law firm and a number of companies connected to Obama administration alums," Murtaugh told Fox News
"A very likely explanation is that Biden simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about and would rather make a political weapon out of a program that helped people make their rent and mortgage payments.”
The law firm that received the big payout was originally founded as Biden and Walsh and is now known as Monzack Mersky McLaughlin and Browder; Biden currently has no financial interest in the firm.
However, firm co-founder and partner Melvyn Monzack, whom Biden called one of his "great friends" in 2017, has maintained close ties to the former vice president.
He served as Biden's 2002 Senate reelection treasurer, as well as the treasurer for Biden's 2008 presidential run.
According to CBS News, Monzack, who has donated thousands to Biden's presidential campaign, attended a state dinner at the White House for Chinese President Hu Jintao in 2011.
The law firm is also a registered agent for companies tied to Biden.
Records reviewed by Fox News show that on July 6, 1987, Biden gave Monzack his legal power of attorney to "demand, sue for and receive all debts, moneys, securities for money, goods, chattels, or other personal property."
Last week, the Biden campaign released a video that included a small business owner saying the Trump administration had done nothing to help her; the advertisement did not disclose that the business owner received thousands in federal relief money.
Biden and his allies have also stepped up their attacks on what they call President Trump's cronyism in the distribution of stimulus money.
A Biden aide shot back after this story was published -- both at the Trump campaign, and Fox News.
"The only thing this story tells us is how desperate the Trump campaign is to find an attack on Vice President Biden that sticks, and how eager Fox News is to help them in their efforts," the aide said.
"Joe Biden isn't the president (yet) and has no control over how PPP funds are distributed."
Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's team is rejecting reports that a business connected to her husband received big money under the government's emergency coronavirus relief program — arguing that his connection to the company is minimal.
The company, EDI Associates in San Rafael, California, has 52 employees and says it's in the "full-service restaurant business," government documents show.
The company received between $350,000 and $1 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) money.
“He’s an investor," Pelosi spokesperson Drew Hammill told Fox News.
"He wasn’t involved in the application for the loan nor was he aware of it.”
The Washington Post and Bloomberg reported that EDI Associates is identified in Pelosi's disclosure forms "as a limited partnership with an investment in the El Dorado Hotel. ...
"The value of the asset on the form -- identified as belonging to Pelosi’s spouse -- is listed as between $250,001 and $500,000."
The paper noted that "four other House members surfaced in previous reports about businesses" that took PPP money, including Republican Reps. Roger Williams of Texas and Vicky Hartzler of Missouri and Democrats Susie Lee of Nevada and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell of Florida, who "have ties to companies that are either run by their families or employ their spouses as senior executives."
The Daily Beast reported that other well-known individuals and entities received generous PPP funds, including a fiscal responsibility advocacy organization run by anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist, a high-powered consulting firm run by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and a political strategy firm linked to two alumni of the Obama White House who’ve "turned anti-Trump podcasting into a lucrative enterprise."
President Trump signed a bill on Saturday extending the PPP, a lifeline to businesses struggling to keep paying employees, through Aug. 8.
The measure also separates the authorized limits for commitments under the PPP from other Small Business Administration loan programs.
On Monday, the Treasury Department and Small Business Administration disclosed businesses that have received $150,000 as part of the PPP -- a list that includes about two-thirds of total dollars lent, but a much smaller percentage of total loans.
The loans can be converted into grants in certain conditions.