by Ailan Evans
The lobbying firm of Jeff Ricchetti, brother to senior Biden counselor Steve Ricchetti, saw its revenue more than quadruple in the first half of this year, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Ricchetti, Inc. pulled in $1.67 million in revenue in the first half of 2021, more than quadrupling earnings from the same period last year, according to a report by the WSJ that cited lobbying disclosure records. Since President Joe Biden took office, Ricchetti, Inc. added clients such as Amazon, General Motors and Horizon Therapeutics, according to the WSJ.
During the first quarter of 2021, Ricchetti not only lobbied Congress, but the Executive Office of the President, the agency in which his brother Steve is employed, according to a report by Open Secrets. Ricchetti served as a longtime aide to Biden before being tapped to serve as counselor in November 2020.
Lobbyist Jeff Ricchetti's client list rebounded from years of stagnation after Joe Biden won the presidency.
What's certainly helping business is that Jeff's brother, Steve, is a senior counselor to President Biden. https://t.co/7kEh4y3FLY
— America Rising (@AmericaRising) July 21, 2021
“I do not lobby my brother, nor have I lobbied the White House this quarter,” Jeff Ricchetti told the WSJ. Steve Ricchetti recuses himself from matters relating to his brother Jeff and does not communicate with him about lobbying-related business, the White House told the WSJ.
Jeff Ricchetti was hired by vaccine manufacturer Vaxart on Nov. 1, 2020 to lobby for the company, just two weeks after Vaxart disclosed it was under investigation by federal prosecutors over whether it misled investors over its participation in Operation Warp Speed, the Daily Caller News Foundation reported.
“The problem is the appearance of special access that the clients of the lobbyist have with the White House and other parts of the administration,” Kedric Payne, general counsel at Campaign Legal Center, told the WSJ.
TC Energy, the company behind the Keystone Pipeline, hired Jeff Ricchetti before Biden was inaugurated and paid him $180,000, the WSJ reported. The pipeline’s permit was revoked the first day Biden took office.
Steve Ricchetti previously worked with Jeff at Ricchetti, Inc. before going to work for Biden in 2009, according to the WSJ.
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Ailan Evans is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Jeff Ricchetti” by Finseca.