A former ethics chief in the Obama administration has slammed Hunter Biden amid revelations he may meet with prospective buyers of his paintings at two upcoming art exhibits.
The exhibits – one in Los Angeles and one in New York – are scheduled for the fall, and will feature Hunter’s works shortly before they are put up for sale.
Hunter’s large oil paintings are expected to fetch upwards of $500,000 each – an eye-popping sum given that he has no formal art qualifications.
The sales have sparked speculation that people may purchase the paintings purely to gain influence with Hunter’s father, President Joe Biden. News that Hunter will be in attendance at both art exhibits, potentially mingling with buyers, is fueling such fears.
It also seemingly contradicts White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki’s claim that the buyers would be ‘anonymous’ and that Hunter would not know who they are.
Walter Shaub, who was appointed by President Obama and led the Office of Government Ethics from 2013 to 2017, blasted Hunter for the move in an interview with CBS News on Thursday.
‘Is Hunter Biden going to walk around the art show with a blindfold on?’ Shaub sarcastically asked.
‘It just goes to show you the focus isn’t on government ethics. It’s just showing the child of a president can cash in on the presidency.’
Hunter Biden’s large oil paintings are expected to fetch upwards of $500,000 each when they go for sale later this year. Hunter will reportedly attend two small art shows featuring his works prior to their sale
Former Obama ethics chief Walter Shaub has slammed Hunter Biden amid revelations he may meet with prospective buyers of his paintings at two upcoming art shows
The upcoming sales have sparked speculation that people may purchase the paintings purely to gain influence with Hunter’s father, President Joe Biden
A spokeswoman for Georges Bergès Gallery – who are selling Hunter’s paintings – confirmed Thursday that he will be in attendance at both of the exhibits.
‘He’s looking forward to it. It is like someone debuting in the world… of course he will be there,’ spokeswoman Robin Davis told CBS News.
Davis stated that everyone invited to the two art shows would be ‘vetted’ to make sure that they are ‘appropriate”.
But Shaub said that puts the onus on the gallery to make sure everything is ethically above board.
He told CBS the Biden administration is ‘outsourcing government ethics’ to the art gallery owner.
Davis did not disclose the dates of the two art shows to CBS News.
DailyMail.com has contacted the Georges Bergès Gallery for further information.
Davis said Biden and Bergès have been friends ‘for years’ and that the art dealer ‘really wants to help Hunter’ as he begins his burgeoning career as a painter.
‘I think it’s all on the up and up,’ she stated about Hunter’s mid-life career change.
Would you pay half a million for a Hunter Biden original? The eye-popping prices have prompted some to accuse Hunter of trying to cash in on his proximity to power
News of Hunter’s attendance at the two art shows comes just weeks after House Republicans launched a probe of President Biden’s family members
News of Hunter Biden’s attendance at the two art shows comes just weeks after House Republicans launched a probe of President Biden’s family members, demanding answers from the White House on what they call efforts to ‘profit from proximity’ to power.
Republicans on the House Oversight Committee accuse Hunter Biden, and President Biden’s brother Frank and sister Valerie of using Biden’s position to line their own pockets.
‘Reports regarding President Biden’s family members attempting to profit from their proximity to the White House have been disturbing and recurring,’ wrote Ranking Member James Comer and the Republican lawmakers.
‘Unfortunately, these reports of President Biden using his former official positions of public trust to swell the coffers of his family members are widespread, and any hope the pattern of family self-dealing would finally stop when he assumed the presidency has been dashed.’
House Republicans asked for documents relating to Hunter Biden’s artwork, a list of past and ongoing foreign business interests of members of the Biden family, a list of their speaking engagements, and any policies designed to ensure they do not profit from the presidency
Details of the letters, sent to the White House Counsel’s Office and the National Archives and Records Administration, were first reported by Fox News.
The White House is under pressure to explain how it intends to ensure that buyers of Hunter Biden’s paintings do not get special favors from the administration.
‘After careful consideration, a system has been established that allows for Hunter Biden to work in his profession within reasonable safeguards,’ said White House press secretary Jen Psaki last week.
‘Of course, he has the right to pursue an artistic career just like any child of a president has the right to pursue a career.’
Berges has previously told Artnet the prices would start at $75,000 for Hunter’s works.
‘The prices for these paintings—by someone with no formal training or history as an artist – raise questions about whether the art is being offered for its merit or its connection to the White House,’ wrote the Republicans.
Hunter’s large oil paintings are expected to fetch upwards of $500,000 each – an eye-popping sum given that he has no formal art qualifications
They also pointed the finger at a recent book deal for Biden’s sister.
‘This pattern – which appears to be nothing short of a cash-grab – continues beyond President Biden’s children. Just last week, it was reported that Valerie Biden Owens, the President’s ‘sister, confidante, and longtime political strategist,’ will publish a book presumably detailing her time as ‘The Joe Biden Whisperer.”
‘Growing Up Biden: A Memoir’ is due to be published by Celador Books next year.
The letter also cited press reports about his brother Frank, describing how he was depicted in an ad for a law firm he advises. ‘[t]he two Biden brothers have long held a commitment to pushing environmental issues to the forefront,’ it said.
The letter asks for documents relating to Hunter Biden’s artwork, a list of past and ongoing foreign business interests of members of the Biden family, a list of their speaking engagements, and any policies designed to ensure they do not profit from the presidency.
A spokesperson for the Biden Administration told CBS on Wednesday: ”The president has established the highest ethical standards of any administration in American history, and his family’s commitment to rigorous processes like this is a prime example.’