Biden plans to shutter charity organization upon entering 2020 race: report

Biden plans to shutter charity organization upon entering 2020 race: report
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Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenMost Americans break with Trump on Ukraine, but just 45 percent think he should be removed: poll Democrats release two new transcripts ahead of next public impeachment hearings Press: Ukraine's not the only outrage MORE plans to close his foundation when he enters the 2020 presidential race, The New York Times reported Monday, citing people briefed on the matter.

Biden and his wife, Jill, launched the Biden Foundation in 2017. According to the Times, the organization would likely suspend its activities immediately after Biden jumps into the race, followed by a gradual dismantling of the charity group.

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By shuttering the charity, the Times reported, Biden would be likely to avoid questions about possible conflicts of interest as a candidate.

A spokesperson for Biden did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill. Spokespeople for Biden and for the foundation declined to comment to the Times.

Closing the charity organization could help Biden avoid some of the questions and criticism that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Memo: Centrists change tone of Democratic race In 2020, democracy will be decided at the margins Michelle Obama presents Lin-Manuel Miranda with National Portrait Award MORE faced in 2016 over her charity, the Clinton Foundation. Watchdog groups at the time warned of possible conflicts of interest, as did President TrumpDonald John TrumpMost Americans break with Trump on Ukraine, but just 45 percent think he should be removed: poll Judge orders Democrats to give notice if they request Trump's NY tax returns Trump's doctor issues letter addressing 'speculation' about visit to Walter Reed MORE, when Clinton did not shutter the foundation while seeking the White House.

The Atlantic reported on Friday that Biden will enter the race this week and has already recorded a video announcement. Biden has begun to accept campaign donations ahead of his likely announcement.

Biden has long been expected to launch his third White House bid. Polling has consistently shown he is at or near the top of Democratic field of candidates.