The incoming Biden administration is facing a major test of transparency and ethics after the New York Times reported Saturday that three former government officials tapped to run President-elect Joe Biden’s national security team have been stakeholders at a private equity firm which is promising investors big profits off government business because of its ties to those officials.
Pine Island Capital Partners lists former Under Secretary of Defense Michele Flournoy and retired General Lloyd Austin as a DC Partners in the firm, and lists former Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken as a DC Partner on leave of absence. Blinken, together with Flournoy, also founded WestExec Advisors, a “strategic advisory firm” that doesn’t disclose its clients, after leaving the Obama administration and ahead of Biden’s 2020 campaign. Good government advocates have raised questions about the structure of the organization, which—unlike lobbying shops—does not have to register with the government.
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