Joe Biden’s nominee for a top Justice Department position worked alongside Hunter Biden at a prominent law firm that represented Ukrainian energy giant Burisma Holdings, emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop show.
Hampton Dellinger, who President Biden nominated on Friday to lead the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy, worked on the Crisis Management and Government Response team at Boies Schiller Flexner, an international law firm where Biden served as counsel. Emails from Biden’s laptop show he worked closely with lawyers on Boies Schiller Flexner’s crisis management team. He referred Burisma Holdings to the crisis unit as a client in April 2014. Biden’s laptop emails also indicate he attended a private dinner party with Dellinger and several other Boies Schiller Flexner lawyers in March 2014.
The link could pose a potential conflict of interest as the Justice Department is investigating Hunter Biden over his tax affairs and foreign business dealings. Federal prosecutors are also reportedly investigating whether a Democratic consulting firm that worked closely with Biden illegally lobbied for Burisma. While Dellinger would likely not oversee the criminal investigations if confirmed as chief of the Office of Legal Policy, previous leaders of the policy office have moved on to other jobs at the agency that perform criminal oversight.
Dellinger’s work at Boies Schiller Flexner is likely to come up during his Senate confirmation process, says a former chief investigative counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee.
"Senators should want to learn more about Mr. Dellinger’s interactions with Hunter Biden," Jason Foster told the Washington Free Beacon. "Senators are likely to question Mr. Dellinger on what he knew about his firm’s dealings with Biden and Burisma at the time."
Dellinger, who served as deputy attorney general for North Carolina in the 2000s, is the second prominent Biden Justice Department nominee with ties to Hunter Biden. Nicholas McQuaid, who was picked to temporarily lead the Justice Department’s criminal division, worked closely with one of Biden’s criminal defense lawyers, Chris Clark. McQuaid has since recused himself from taking part in any Hunter Biden-related matters.
Emails from Biden’s laptop show Boies Schiller Flexner partner William Isaacson arranged a dinner at his home for members of the Crisis Management and Government Response team in March 2014. Isaacson wrote in one email that Biden, Dellinger, and several others had confirmed their attendance at the party.
Biden asked in an email on March 17, 2014, to seven of his Boies Schiller Flexner colleagues, including Dellinger, whether the dinner party was still on for that night.
The next day, Heather King, a partner at the firm, asked Biden whether he would be available to meet with the Crisis Management and Government Response team.
Biden introduced Burisma Holdings as a possible client for Boies Schiller Flexner the following month.
Biden wrote to Isaacson and Chris Boies, a partner at the firm, on April 15, 2014, that he had recommended to Burisma that the firm retain Boies Schiller Flexner. He said he had been working with Burisma to "think strategically about the current crisis and expansion of their existing domestic operations." He recommended that they have a conference call with members of the Crisis Management and Government Response team.
Hunter Biden has come under intense scrutiny over his work for Burisma. At the time, then-Vice President Joe Biden was leading the Obama administration’s diplomatic efforts in Ukraine. Hunter Biden and his business partner, Devon Archer, received more than $80,000 per month beginning in April 2014 to serve on Burisma’s board of directors.
Biden, who joined Boies Schiller Flexner in 2010 as an adviser, tapped the law firm to provide public relations and business consulting for Burisma. Boies Schiller Flexner partners also helped secure a lobbying firm and private investigative firm to work for Burisma.
It is unclear whether Dellinger did any work on the Burisma account, but an archive of the Boies Schiller Flexner website shows him listed as an attorney with the 12-person Crisis Management and Government Response team as of June 2014. Dellinger left Boies Schiller Flexner last year to form his own private practice.
Dellinger did not respond to a list of questions about Hunter Biden and his work at Boies Schiller Flexner.
If confirmed by the Senate, Dellinger will oversee the office that advises the White House on judicial nominations and serves as primary policy adviser to the attorney general. The position has served as a stepping stone for other Justice Department officials to other areas of the agency. Biden nominated the current acting Office of Legal Policy chief, Christian Schroeder, to serve as the Justice Department’s head of the Office of Legal Counsel.
Rachel Brand, who served under President Trump as associate attorney general, the third most senior position at the Justice Department, served as chief of the Office of Legal Policy during the George W. Bush administration.