(FreedomBeacon.com)- Over the past year, one extremely wealth private citizens has been extremely influential in how the White House has shaped the Office of Science and Technology Policy — former Google CEO Eric Schmidt.
Outside advisers to that office have told Politico that Schmidt, through a foundation he has controlled, has been given unprecedented power and access to the office by President Joe Biden.
There are 140 people who work in the office of the White House, and Politico reports that more than a dozen of them have been or still currently are associates of Schmidt’s. Some are former and current employees of his, according to internal emails and interviews that Politico has obtained.
Schmidt Futures, the charity arm of his company, has indirectly paid the wages for two employees of the science office, including that of Marc Aidinoff, the office’s chief of staff. Aidinoff is among the most senior officials in that office after Eric Lander — another person who’s close to Schmidt — resigned from his post back in February.
Tom Kalil worked as a consultant who was unpaid at the office. He left there after serving for four months following complaints regarding his ethics, but he was on Schmidt’s payroll the entire time.
This is nothing really new for Schmidt, who apparently has long sought to hold influence over the science policy of the federal government. He even had close ties to Biden’s former boss, Barack Obama.
Internal watchdogs at the White House have raised red flags on multiple occasions regarding Schmidt Futures’ involvement in supporting certain figures with funding.
Spokespeople for Schmidt have written that off, saying the mission of Schmidt Futures in helping the Biden administration is to “focus and mobilize these networks of talent to solve specific problems in science and society.”
There are a lot of major potential conflicts of interest going on here, especially with his foundation’s efforts to pay the wages of certain people. Politico obtained internal emails sent from Rachel Wallace, a former general counsel for the science office, which said there were “significant” ethical concerns about that, particularly in areas where the financial interests he had overlapped with the responsibilities at the OSTP.
The issues arise because Schmidt is a board member of many technology companies that could benefit from the science policies of the federal government. Many of those companies are focused on AI, or artificial intelligence.
One of those companies is Rebellion Defense, a defense contractor that has a focus on AI.
Another is a data science company, Civis Analytics, which has helped various political campaigns for Democrats. That includes Biden’s own 2020 presidential campaign, which the company helped target voters and consumers.
In addition to sending emails about potential ethical concerns, Wallace filed a formal complaint against Lander regarding his treatment of her as his employee.
On February 18, Lander resigned after the White House found “credible evidence” that he violated workplace standards and bullied Wallace.
Wallace, who’s being represented now as a whistleblower by the Government Accountability Project, said in a complaint filed earlier in March:
“I and others on the legal team had been noticing a large number of staff with financial connections to Schmidt Futures and were increasingly concerned about the influence this organization was able to have through these individuals.”