‘This whole scheme makes absolutely no sense, unless people want to try to buy access to the White House or the administration or somebody else,’ Richard Painter, who served as chief ethics lawyer under President George W. Bush said on Fox & Friends First.
‘I doubt they’re interested in just the art for the art’s sake.’
Joe Biden‘s White House has come under fire recently amid plans for the president’s only surviving son to host art exhibitions in New York and Los Angeles, before the artworks go up for sale – with some pieces expected to net upwards of $500,000.
A spokesperson for the gallery selling the paintings, Georges Bergès Gallery, confirmed he would be in attendance.
Richard Painter, former White House ethics chief under President George W. Bush, seemed to dismiss the notion that people would be buying Hunter Biden’s art for its own merits
Painter told Fox & Friends First the 51-year-old recovering drug addict should wait until after his father leaves office to sell his art
Painter points out that the 51-year-old recovering drug addict is ‘not an established artist’ – and with their half-a-million price tag, the math just doesn’t add up.
‘After all he made some money with a Ukrainian gas company, I think he’s probably doing all right financially,’ he added, referring to Hunter’s time serving on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma while Joe Biden was vice president.
He suggested that if Hunter Biden really wanted to enter the art world, he would wait.
‘The best approach for this, by the way, would be for Hunter Biden not to sell the art at all, just paint and sell it after his father leaves office,’ Painter said.
He also criticized the Biden administration for a lack of ‘transparency’ on the matter.
‘When the White House buys into a plan to keep the buyers of Hunter Biden’s art secret, the White House is endorsing the exact opposite approach,’ Painter said.
Hunter Biden has no professional art qualifications or training, but some of his paintings could fetch upwards of half a million dollars
Hunter Biden’s paintings will be on display in New York and Los Angeles, and a spokesperson for the gallery selling his art confirmed he will be in attendance
Press Secretary Jen Psaki insisted Thursday that the president wouldn’t be privy to who buys his son’s art.
She also said Hunter himself will not ‘discuss anything related to the selling of his art.’
‘He’s not going to have any conversations related to the selling of art, that will be left to the gallerist,’ Psaki said during her daily briefing. ‘As was outlined in the agreement that we announced just a few weeks ago.’
‘And I would reiterate that the gallerist will be the only person who handles transactions or conversations in that vein and will reject any offer that is out of the ordinary.’
Press Secretary Jen Psaki insisted Thursday that Hunter Biden would not discuss the selling of his art, despite being in attendance with people who are likely prospective buyers
A former Obama administration official told CBS the arrangement proves the White House’s focus ‘isn’t on government ethics’ (pictured: President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden embrace Hunter after the president is sworn in January 20)
Psaki said this setup will allow the 51-year-old to ‘pursue his passion’ just like ‘any child of the president.’
But with Hunter in attendance at both the East and West coast gallery showings, Painter doubts the White House’s assurances.
‘It’s going to be very clear with people in the know as to who buys Hunter Biden’s art,’ pointing out that those in attendance would likely be ‘prospective buyers.’
‘The question is, are the American people going to know? The White House should insist on complete transparency,’ Painter said. ‘I hope they don’t stay this course.’
Ex-staffers of Biden’s former boss Barack Obama have also come out against the murky dealings.
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.’