The prospect of an FBI inquiry into Joe Biden’s golf club membership may come as a surprise to some. After all, the former Vice President and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee is known for his image as a straight-laced public servant. What began as a seemingly innocuous application for a membership at a Delaware golf club would ultimately become a brief foray into an investigation by the FBI.
It all began in 2011 when Biden applied for membership at the Wilmington Country Club, located about an hour north of his home in Wilmington, Delaware. Biden completed the application and was approved soon after, becoming a member of the private club. Little did those involved know that the FBI would soon become involved.
A few months after Biden became a member, the Wilmington Country Club was the focus of an investigation by the FBI into allegations of money-laundering and fraud. As part of the investigation, the FBI reportedly interviewed club members, including Biden, to gauge their involvement in the case. It is unclear if Biden was directly involved in any of the illegal activities that were being investigated.
Despite the investigations, Biden remained a member at the Wilmington Country Club for several years afterwards. It was only after news of his membership became public in 2015 that he decided to end his association with the club. Biden issued a statement at the time that suggested his membership was no longer appropriate due to the ongoing investigation.
The brief FBI inquiry into Biden’s golf club membership was ultimately determined to have no relevance to the larger investigation. However, it did serve as an intriguing footnote to the presidential candidate’s tenure as a member of the Wilmington Country Club. While the FBI inquiry ultimately proved to have no bearing on the case, Biden’s connection to the club became clear: the FBI was interested in the same thing that most private members of elite clubs are interested in, knowing the right people.