Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn is known as a stalwart ally of President Joe Biden, with many observers attributing Biden’s 2020 South Carolina primary victory to Clyburn’s endorsement.
Yet as Fox News reported this past weekend, the congressman is now facing allegations that the president likely wants nothing to do with.
Large sums paid out
According to the network, Federal Election Commission filings from 2022 show Clyburn sent large amounts of campaign funds to members of his family.
This included giving tens of thousands of dollars to a company that his son-in-law is linked to as well as providing his grandson with nearly $100,000.
Among the payments were $57,500 worth of rent to 49 Magnolia Blossom LLC. Fox News pointed to South Carolina business records which show that one Walter A Reed serves as the firm’s registered agent.
Reed is married to the congressman’s daughter, Jennifer Clyburn Reed. What’s more, his grandson, Walter A.C. Reed, got $94,000 for “campaign management fees.”
Ethics experts disapprove
Fox News noted that although it is not illegal for candidates to pay family members for legitimate expenses, “ethics experts have generally disapproved of the practice.”
Meanwhile, Clyburn has made no secret of his continued support for the president ahead of next year’s election, something he recently discussed in an interview with CBS News host Robert Costa.
“I’m all-in for President Biden,” Fox News quoted Clyburn as telling Costa last Wednesday. “I think he’s demonstrated, in these two years … that he is deserving of re-election. And I do believe he will be re-elected irrespective of who the Republicans, they put up.”
“I’ve told him on many occasions that I believe that he ought to announce for re-election and get the playbook laid down by Harry Truman back in 1948 and use that as their mantra upon which to run for re-election,” the South Carolina Democrat continued.
2024 primary challenge?
Fox News recalled how in 1948, President Harry Truman won an unexpected victory by running against a Republican-controlled Congress, calling it a “do-nothing Congress.”
Clyburn went on to offer words of warning to any Democratic who might consider launching a primary challenge against the president, saying,
“The history is very clear on what happens when you challenge a sitting president like this,” pointing to the experience of Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy.
Kennedy launched an unsuccessful primary challenge in 1980 against President Jimmy Carter, a move that some historians believe ultimately helped to elect President Ronald Reagan.