WASHINGTON -- Joe Biden plans to argue at this week's debate that all presidential candidates -- including the incumbent -- must be transparent about their finances and any business dealings in their past.
The approach, described by a Biden adviser on condition of anonymity, could be seen as a veiled attack on Elizabeth Warren, with whom the Democratic front-runner is sharing a debate stage for the first time on Thursday in Houston.
The Biden adviser said voters deserve visibility into candidates' finances, especially from those who are facing questions about their activities before taking office.
The adviser declined to confirm whether Warren would be Biden's explicit target. But with her polling in second place in many state and national polls, the former vice president's team is paying close attention to her.
While Warren has posted tax returns dating back to 2008 on her campaign website, the Biden camp appears to be calling for greater scrutiny of the years before 2008, the year she was appointed to the Congressional Oversight Panel that examined the government response to the financial crisis.
Warren, whose presidential effort is styled around fighting corporate America, has taken on corporate clients as an adviser or expert witness on bankruptcy in the last 20 years. In May, her campaign posted brief descriptions of her roles in those cases and some of that work has been questioned during her two Senate campaigns in Massachusetts.
The Warren campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump, who Biden hopes to face in the 2020 general election, has refused to release his tax returns, even under subpoena, and has refused to divest himself from his family's closely held company, the Trump Organization.
But Biden may be an imperfect messenger for the argument, given that Trump and his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani are raising questions about the business record of Hunter Biden, the former vice president's son. House Democrats on Monday launched an investigation into Trump and Giuliani's efforts to pressure the Ukrainian government to assist in the president's reelection campaign and to uncover dirt on Biden and his son.
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