Joe Biden refuses to disclose his free stays at vacation homes of Democratic megadonors in his ethics disclosure form
05/24/2024 // Arsenio Toledo // Views

President Joe Biden has refused to disclose his several stays at the vacation homes of several Democratic megadonors, a clear violation of financial disclosure laws.

In 2023, Biden took at least four vacations to the homes of wealthy Democratic megadonors, none of which were listed as gifts on Biden's financial disclosure reports. The annual paperwork over financial disclosures must be submitted by all federal officeholders from judges to presidents under the Ethics in Government Act of 1978. (Related: Working hard or hardly working? Biden spent at least 39% of his presidency on VACATION.)

"If there is a deliberate omission of a gift, an intentional lie, that can very well be prosecuted as a criminal offense," warned Richard Painter, who served as the chief White House ethics lawyer for the administration of former President George W. Bush.

"It just seems to me to be stupid to leave it off the form because everyone knows about [presidential] trips and everyone's going to ask who paid," added Painter, who is a registered Democrat and who unsuccessfully ran for the House of Representatives in Minnesota in 2018 and 2022. "So, you either have to pay for the house, make sure the owner is present or put it on the form. Those are your three options."

Biden spent time at luxurious vacation homes of three megadonors

One of the Biden family's "vacations" in 2023 was to the beachfront home of Bill and Connie Neville on the island of St. Croix, one of the three main islands in the United States Virgin Islands, and what seems to be a frequent vacation destination for the Bidens, having reportedly visited the Nevilles there in 2022. The Bidens last spent time with the Nevilles over the New Year's holiday at the end of 2023.

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Bill is the founder of U.S. Viking, a Virgin Islands-based software company that makes an online content platform called ENPS that is marketed by multiple news outlets, including the Associated Press.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, the Bidens enjoyed a six-day stay at the Nantucket, Massachusetts, compound of billionaire hedge fund founder David Rubenstein. The Bidens' stay at the Rubenstein compound is considered unpaid, but neither the billionaire nor the White House have confirmed or denied reports.

In August, Biden spent nine days at the Lake Tahoe, Nevada waterfront retreat of billionaire climate investor Tom Steyer.

Steyer is a registered Democrat and sought for several months the Democratic Party's nomination for president in 2020 before dropping out after spending nearly $200 million on the campaign.

The White House initially claimed that Biden would pay "fair market value" for the time spent at Steyer's home. However, this led to local Nevada officials launching an investigation due to Steyer's lack of a rental permit. The probe was short-lived and was mysteriously dropped, with the terms of the alleged rental remaining undisclosed.

Reports indicate that the homeowners were not present for the Bidens' stays, as is the case for the dozens of other "free" stays that the Bidens have taken advantage of during his more than three-year presidency and eight years as vice president under former President Barack Obama.

If these vacation stays were all free, intentionally leaving gifts off the forms could put Biden or his staff in danger of making false statements on financial disclosure forms. This crime is punishable by up to five years in prison under U.S. Code 18 section 1001.

The Biden administration has claimed that this is not a crime due to a carveout in ethics regulations that allows officials to not disclose "any food, lodging or entertainment received as personal hospitality."

But Painter and other ethics experts believe that the carveout only applies if the homeowner is present for the free vacation, with the experts arguing that it would be difficult for homeowners to provide "personal hospitality" if they are not around.

"I have always been of the view that the exception cannot be used when the friend is not there, and I think arguments to the contrary make no sense," said Walter Shaub, former head of the Office of Government Ethics under Obama. "It's not the rich-friend-who-can-give-you-stuff exception. It's supposed to apply to things like your friend's kids' wedding or a home-cooked meal with your friend."

Watch this clip from Fox Business as Fox News contributor Joe Concha and GRV Strategies founder Garrett Ventry discuss how President Joe Biden has spent more than 40 percent of his time in office on vacation.

This video is from the NewsClips channel on

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