In 2013, an oil heiress hired a Florida state senator to lobby the federal government on behalf of a pet cause: banning the slaughter of horses for meat.

The lawmaker, Joe Abruzzo, was a close associate of Frank Biden, the younger brother of then-Vice President Joe Biden. At the time, the younger Biden was looking for state funding for his charter-school business, and Abruzzo sat on a key appropriations subcommittee in the Florida legislature.

The two men met frequently. So it was only natural that, when the horse-slaughter measure stalled in Congress, Abruzzo sought Frank Biden’s help.

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