President Joe Biden has nominated Hunter Biden’s former law firm colleague to lead the Office of the Special Counsel, which has faced congressional pressure to investigate the Biden administration’s handling of an investigation into the troubled first son.
Biden on Wednesday tapped Hampton Dellinger to lead the office, which investigates corruption in the executive branch and provides protections to federal whistleblowers. Dellinger currently serves as head of the Justice Department’s office of legal policy.
If confirmed, Dellinger could create a conflict of interest given his links to Hunter Biden. Dellinger and the younger Biden worked together at the white shoe law firm Boies Schiller Flexner, the Washington Free Beacon reported. In 2014, Hunter Biden tapped Boies Schiller Flexner to represent Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian energy firm where he served as a board member.
Hunter Biden and Boies Schiller Flexner’s crisis management and government response team developed a public relations and lobbying strategy to help Burisma, according to emails from Biden’s laptop. Dellinger served on Boies Schiller Flexner’s Crisis Management and Government Response team, though it is unclear if he did any work for Burisma.
But emails show Dellinger and Hunter Biden did cross paths on numerous occasions at Boies Schiller. The duo arranged a lunch date in February 2014. They also attended a dinner party for Boies Schiller partners in March 2014.
If confirmed, Dellinger will face congressional pressure to investigate whether the Biden administration retaliated against two IRS whistleblowers who have cried foul on the federal investigation into Hunter Biden.
In July, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), Rep. Jim Jordan (R., Ohio), and other Republicans called on Special Counsel Henry Kerner to investigate whether the agencies retaliated against the whistleblowers, Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler. The whistleblowers have accused the Justice Department of failing to fully investigate Hunter Biden’s tax evasion and foreign lobbying.
Among other claims, the whistleblowers have alleged that Hunter Biden failed to report hundreds of thousands of dollars in income from Burisma Holdings in 2014 and 2015. They have claimed Justice Department and IRS officials pulled them off the Biden probe as retaliation for voicing concerns about the investigation.
Hunter Biden’s attorneys have also threatened the whistleblowers. Abbe Lowell has suggested Shapley and Ziegler should be prosecuted for disclosing Biden’s tax information. They have denied any criminal wrongdoing and said their disclosures were made under protections provided to federal whistleblowers.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.