Biden-founded law firm, as well as a company tied to Pelosi, received PPP funds, docs show
A prominent Delaware law firm founded by presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan for between $150,000 and $350,000, according to records released Monday by the Treasury Department and the Small Business Administration.
The Trump campaign told Fox News that the records conflict with recent messaging from the Biden campaign that the PPP program is both ineffective and a vehicle to reward Trump “cronies.”
“Instead of attacking President Trump as an involuntary reflex, maybe Joe Biden should just say ‘thank you’ once in a while,” Trump campaign director of communications Tim Murtaugh told Fox 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. 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, so perhaps instead of covering how a law firm Biden worked briefly at decades ago got a loan, Fox News should examine why the single biggest recipient of PPP funds was a massive Trump donor, or why 40 Trump-connected lobbyists were able to steer more than $10 billion in taxpayer money to their wealthy clients.”
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 minimial.
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 a 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, the nonprofit headed by former Trump campaign official David Bossie, 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.
Fox Business Network’s James Legatte contributed to this report.