Sen. Joe Biden, now a Democratic candidate for vice president, paid off a sizable amount of debt last month from the presidential campaign he ended in January.
Among the bills paid were some from son Hunter Biden’s Washington law firm, Oldaker, Biden & Belair, which was owed $52,000 at the last filing, according to a July campaign finance report filed Wednesday with the Federal Election Commission.
The debt was for legal services from William Farrah and firm founder and lobbyist William Oldaker, a campaign adviser and fundraiser for Biden for more than 25 years, according to his office. The office received $57,500 during the month of July.
Overall, the Delaware Democrat paid off $545,445 in debts and obligations after receiving almost $2 million in federal matching funds, according to the report. That leaves him with $174,000 in debt this period but with $196,537 in the bank.
Biden’s friends and financial ties are likely to come under scrutiny by the press and the Republican opposition as the campaign for president progresses. One of his oldest political connections is to Oldaker.
Hunter Biden and Oldaker co-founded the law firm in a downtown D.C. office.
Working out of the same suite as the law firm, Oldaker also helped launch The National Group, a lobbying affiliate specializing in helping business, public and private groups win “earmarked” appropriations in the federal budget.
The National Group earned $4.1 million last year, lobbying mainly for health services and education clients, including the University of Delaware, Texas Tech University, Widener University and Philadelphia University, according to Opensecrets.org. It also represents corporate clients.
Employees of both The National Group or Oldaker, Biden & Belair, which also has a government-relations practice, have collectively donated $140,000 to political committees and lawmakers this campaign cycle, including $12,850 to funds controlled by Sen. Biden, according to Opensecrets.
Oldaker has served for 25 years as general counsel for Biden’s campaigns, and more recently as general counsel for Biden’s leadership political action committee, Unite Our States. During his 2008 presidential campaign, Sen. Biden paid Oldaker, Biden & Belair almost $86,000 for legal services.
Oldaker, a former Federal Election Commission lawyer and general counsel for Sen. Ted Kennedy’s presidential campaign in 1980, also served for a short time as the assistant treasurer for Unite Our States. Oldaker stepped down from Biden’s PAC when government watchdogs assailed the practice of lobbyists signing off on campaign contributions.