Some of President Biden's marquee administration picks had sizable incomes in recent years, according to numbers crunched by Axios, yet it's official disclosure forms about to become public that will tell a more compelling tale.
Why it matters: It's not surprising senior administration officials would also be successful in the private sector. But the populist moment the country finds itself in means personal wealth can come with political liability.
What's new: Data compiled from financial disclosure forms show Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen topped the income list among top Biden officials, largely due to her lucrative speaking gigs at major financial institutions.
- Alejandro Mayorkas, Biden's pick to lead the Department of Homeland Security, was a close second, having drawn substantial sums from his partnership share in a law firm.
- Due to the timing of their filings, some Biden officials have disclosed income for 2020 while others disclosed numbers covering both 2019 and 2020. For the latter, Axios averaged their annual income during those two years.
The big picture: Biden has pledged to roll back what he's characterized as systemic conflicts of interest and self-dealing by former President Trump and his top administration officials. But he and Vice President Kamala Harris already have been buffeted by questions about potential conflicts involving their own family members.
- The lucrative business dealings and speaking gigs disclosed to date by those Biden has tapped for senior posts threaten to provide easy fodder for congressional and media critics.
- A rolling filing deadline means the forms will begin trickling out within the next month, and what they reveal has the potential to highlight even more conflicts of interest from a revolving door between big business and the Obama and Biden administrations.