A Biden aide has been quietly stacking the administration with his children – and the most recent is a “Defund the Police” advocate.
Steve Ricchetti – who also serves as a White House adviser – now three children working within the administration, including son J.J. Ricchetti who was just hired by the Treasury Department as a Special Assistant in the Office of Legislative Affairs.
Ricchetti’s Instagram bio included a link to a document about supporting the Defund the Police movement and donating to bail funds for protesters. The document, titled “#blacklivesmatter,” also included links to social media posts about how to disable tanks.
Another one of Steve Ricchetti’s sons, Daniel Ricchetti, is a senior adviser in the office of the under secretary of State for arms control and international security, and his daughter Shannon Ricchetti is deputy associate director at the office of the White House social secretary.
Walt Shaub, former director of the United States Office of Government Ethics, labeled the situation “positively ridiculous” in a statement.
“Haven’t we had enough of nepotists in presidential administrations?” Shaub said.
“It may be legal if Ricchetti wasn’t directly involved in the hiring, but this is no way to send a message that ethics matters to the administration. It feels like the taxpayers are funding a career-building charity for the Ricchetti family. Add to that the fact that you’ve got Ricchetti’s brother lobbying the administration, and this feels like a very special episode of the Partridge Family where they all pile in the van and go visit Washington — only they should call this show the Patronage Family.”
Shaub was referring to Steve Ricchetti’s brother Jeff Ricchetti who is a lobbyist. Jeff Ricchetti claimed in April that while he has been in touch with the Biden administration, he does not lobby his brother.
“I do not lobby my brother and I have not even mentioned to him the names of clients that I currently represent,” Jeff Ricchetti previously told CNBC. “For the better part of the last thirty years I have lobbied Members of Congress and their staff, and various individuals who have served in the successive Administrations. It is what I do for a living.”
J.J. Richetti appears to have less experience than previous Treasury staffers who held the same position, making his hiring all the more peculiar.
Clement Abonyi Jr. appears to be the former special assistant whom J.J. Ricchetti is replacing at Treasury.
Unlike Abonyi, who moved up the ranks from staff assistant to Director of Member Services for Rep. Maxine Waters, over a three-year period and specialized in financial matters working with the House Financial Services Committee, Ricchetti is joining the Treasury Department in the same position a year after graduating from college.
Arian Rubio, another special assistant who joined the Treasury Department’s Legislative Affairs office in March 2021, has had at least eight internships and multiple years of experience, according to Linkedin.
The Ricchettis aren’t the only ones making working for the administration a family affair.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, national security adviser Jake Sullivan, senior adviser Anita Dunn, deputy chief of staff Bruce Reed and Presidential Personnel Office Director Cathy Russell each have at least one direct family member working for the Biden administration.
The Trump administration was blasted due to former president Donald Trump’s reliance on his daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner to advise him.
However, neither Ivanka Trump nor Kushner took a salary during their time as advisers to Trump, and for 2020 and early 2021 they saw their personal income drop more than 20% from 2019 and early 2020, according to Bloomberg News.
Author: Richard Weylin