FLASHBACK: Biden confidante made revealing admission about Obama DOJ in unearthed interview

FIRST ON FOX: A former U.S. senator and longtime political confidante of President Biden openly acknowledged that the Department of Justice was “full of Biden people” during the Obama presidency, sparking criticism from skeptics as Biden’s DOJ continues to fight questions about its impartiality in high-profile investigations.

“The Justice Department is full of Biden people!” Former Delaware Democratic Sen. Ted Kaufman said in a 2012 “Oral History” Senate interview reviewed by Fox News Digital in response to a question about Biden’s input on cabinet positions.

“I mean full of Biden people. If you want a list of where Biden people are, there are a whole bunch of people in the Justice Department, and a whole bunch of them in our foreign policy establishment, and a whole bunch of them in the White House, OMB, and places like that.”


Kaufman Biden

Former Sen. Ted Kaufman, D-Del., (Left) and President Biden (Right) (Getty Images)

“But since financial reform wasn’t one of his major interests, he didn’t have people in it. Although I must say, after I left the Senate I was offered two major positions in the financial area of the administration which I turned down,” Kaufman continued. “He would have had one person in the financial area if I had not decided that my time of full-time employment days was over and that I had a different view of where I was going to go.”

Kaufman, who Biden referred to as one of his “closest friends in the world” during a White House event last year, has a long history of working with President Biden and says the two met when Biden was not yet 30-years-old contemplating a run for Senate in 1972. Biden’s sister Valerie, who was serving as Biden’s campaign manager, recruited Kaufman to help with the campaign and Kaufman later joined Biden’s Senate staff where he worked for 22 years ultimately becoming Biden’s chief of staff.

Kaufman was appointed in 2008 to fill the Delaware Senate seat vacated by Biden when he went to the White House to serve as Obama’s vice president and the Delaware Democrat served there for about a year before current Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., took the job after winning a special election. 

He was most recently the head of Biden’s 2020 transition and was described in a Politico profile piece as the “man who literally wrote the laws on presidential transitions” and said Kaufman, who lives a few minutes away from Biden’s main Delaware residence, “likely has more control over a future Biden administration than anyone other than the Democratic presidential nominee himself.”


Joe Biden, Barack Obama

President Joe Biden (Left) and former President Barack Obama (Right) (Getty Images)

White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates told Fox News Digital that “President Biden is proud to have restored the full independence of the Department of Justice from politics, a bipartisan tradition.”

“He’s also proud that after the Trump Administration became the first since Herbert Hoover to in total lose jobs and left him with a spiking violent crime rate, he delivered unprecedented job creation and the biggest violent crime reduction in 50 years,” Bates continued.

The resurfacing of Kaufman’s remarks comes as Biden’s DOJ is involved in high-profile investigations into former President Donald Trump as well as Biden’s son, Hunter, which conservatives have long argued have been politically motivated.

“Joe Biden is the epitome of a corrupt, career politician,” the Trump campaign’s national press secretary Karoline Leavitt told Fox News Digital. 

The only jobs Crooked Joe has ever created are for his equally crooked family members at foreign companies or for his partisan leftist friends in the federal government. Biden’s witch-hunts against his political opponent, President Trump, have been carefully coordinated and led by Biden’s deep state Democrat friends who make a living by ripping off American taxpayers,” Leavitt continued. “On the contrary, President Trump has employed thousands of people at his successful companies for decades and had an unparalleled record of job creation in his first term as President, which will only continue when he is re-elected in November.”

Merrick Garland

In this photo illustration, Merrick Garland responds to questions about his memorandum to the FBI regarding parents’ uprisings against CRT and gender ideology policies in schools.  (Fox News Digital )

Rep. Lance Gooden, R-Texas recently sent a scathing letter to the DOJ and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg last month, highlighting the hiring of Michael Colangelo on the team attempting to charge the former president with 34 counts of falsifying his business records, including alleged hush money payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

Colangelo was previously employed as a senior official at President Biden’s DOJ, but reportedly left his role in December 2022 to work as Senior Counsel at the DA’s office a few months before the indictment of Trump.

GOP Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, a vocal critic of the Biden DOJ, told Fox News Digital that “it is clear to the American people that Joe Biden’s weaponization of the Department of Justice is an illegal form of election interference targeting President Trump” after reviewing the unearthed Kaufman quote.

Stefanik Biden split

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., a staunch critic of the Biden DOJ, told Fox News Digital that “it is clear to the American people that Joe Biden’s weaponization of the Department of Justice is an illegal form of election interference.” (Getty Images)

Donald Trump Jr. blasted “Crooked Joe” in a statement to Fox News Digital and said Biden “has been a creature in the DC swamp for over 50 years and the DOJ is the beating heat of the swamp, and so his influence over it is no surprise.”

“Anyone with a working brain can see that the purpose of these corrupt cases against my father is to try to save Biden politically,” Trump Jr. continued, defending his father. “It’s shameful that Biden’s minions at the DOJ are willing to turn America into a Banana Republic, all to try to stop my father from retaking the Presidency.” 

A Biden campaign alum pushed back against the critics of Kaufman’s quote, telling Fox News Digital that their interpretation was Kaufman speaking “as a proud former chief of staff to then-Senator Biden talking about how the alumni of their office were successful. Not as though anyone is being inappropriate.”

“By the Trump campaign’s rationale, their DOJ was corrupt; so was George W. Bush’s, and everyone down the line,” the campaign alum added. “They don’t provide any evidence that anything inappropriate took place.”

Merrick Garland sitting

US Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks during a meeting with US Attorney Damian Williams, not pictured, as well as federal, state, and local law enforcement leaders, in New York City on November 27, 2023. Garland is visiting US Attorney’s Offices across the country to discuss the issues in their communities.  (EDUARDO MUNOZ/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Biden’s Attorney General Merrick Garland, who heads the Biden DOJ, has come under intense scrutiny over the handling of multiple investigations. Earlier this year, Garland pushed back on critics who accused the DOJ of political bias.


“Look, we have reasserted and clarified the norms of this Justice Department,” Garland replied. “We follow the facts and the law wherever they lead. Politics is not a part of our determinations. It would be improper and it’s not. The Department has regulations about the appointment of special counsels, and we follow those regulations.”

He went on to say, “In each case, we have appointed people who are formerly veteran career prosecutors, whatever their current position is.”

Fox News Digital reached out to Kaufman and the DOJ for comment. 

Fox News’ Alexander Hall and Aubrie Spady contributed reporting.

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