President Joe Biden’s son Hunter, who is not an artist nor ever has been, has sold at least five paintings for $75,000 each. A source familiar with the matter told The New York Post. The prints were sold at a “pop-up” presentation in Los Angeles on October 1.
This week White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked by CBS News Radio reporter Steven Portnoy about one of the attendees at last week’s opening, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti is president Biden’s nominee to be the US ambassador in India.
“Should we expect to see more people who seek jobs in this administration attending events like this in the future?” asked Portnoy who is president of the White House Correspondents’ Association.
As is standard, Psaki grew flustered and deflected. “Again, the gallerist has spoken to – we’ve spoken to the specifics of what the gallerist has agreed to and what recommendations were made. I’ve done that several times,. I don’t have additional details for it from here. I’d point you to them.”
As for Hunter’s upcoming gallery show in New York City, the New York Post reports, “a leading ethics expert told The Post that Biden’s recent schmoozing with attendees at this debut exhibition showed that a White House attempt to prevent influence-peddling by keeping buyers anonymous won’t work and should be scrapped in favor of a ‘Plan B.”
“It’s a whole process to get in to see the Biden show, You have to call the gallery in Soho, and they are vetting people carefully…they laid down rules that through vetting of any collector has to be done by a team of lawyers.”
Richard Painter, who was President George W. Bush’s chief ethics lawyer says the Los Angeles opening, where Hunter mingled with around 200 guests “illustrates how this veil-of-secrecy idea is not happening.”
“Painter said the best way to prevent anyone from gaining leverage over the White House by paying the “crazy prices” for Hunter Biden’s artwork would be to not sell it until after his dad leaves office” adds The Post.
Painter added there should be “full transparency” of the buyers’ identities and President Biden and his appointees should all sign “recusal” pledges “to ensure these people can’t get access to the White House.”
Painter said, “We did that in the Bush White House,” he said. “If people tried to contact the government who were business partners of the Bushes, we made sure they contacted people who weren’t political appointees.”