GOP Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., on Thursday demanded that Attorney General Merrick Garland appoint a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden‘s art deals, as he noted that the amateur artist and president’s son was selling his work for the same amount as renowned artists Edgar Degas and Claude Monet.
Buck, during a House Judiciary Committee hearing, held up a poster board showing a Claude Monet painting that had sold for $700,000 and an Edgar Degas painting that had sold for $500,000.
He then displayed a picture of a Hunter Biden piece that had sold for $500,000.
‘You may think, when Hunter Biden is in such exclusive company, he may have a background in artistic training, for example. You would be wrong about that.’ Garland put his hand to his forehead, seemingly in a display of exasperation.
Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., also called for an independent investigation of Hunter.
‘There have been multiple reports that Hunter Biden made enormous sums of money, and he’s admitted that’s because of his family ties. Now that, by itself, might not be a crime,’ McClintock said.
‘But there have also now been multiple reports that emails and communications from Hunter Biden have indicated that his finance are intermingled with those of his father’s.’
He asked Garland, ‘If that doesn’t call for an independent investigation, the president, what would?’
Buck noted criticism even from Obama-era ethics chief Walter Shaub, who said in July that Hunter’s art deals would ‘tarnish’ his father’s legacy.
‘I just think that’s absolutely appalling,’ Shaub said of the art deals, valued between $75,000 and $500,000.
Buck, during a House Judiciary Committee hearing, held up a poster board showing a Claude Monet painting that had sold for $700,000 and an Edgar Degas painting that had sold for $500,000
Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., also called for an independent investigation of Hunter
The Obama-era ethics chief continued: ‘If he were a patriot—if he cared about this country—he would not want to tarnish his father’s reputation that way.’
‘You may think he had some sort of apprenticeship with a world renowned artist but you would be wrong if you thought that,’ Buck continued. ‘Or perhaps, he has been selling his works for years, but again, unfortunately, you would be wrong about that.’
‘Having a fake skill set is nothing new to Hunter Biden,’ Buck continued, noting that the president’s son had earned $50,000 per month sitting on the board of Ukrainian energy firm Burisma while his father was vice president, despite having no experience in the industry.
The president’s son made his gallery debut at the famed Milk gallery in Los Angeles earlier this month, where around 200 invites for the tightly-policed event went to a host of Los Angeles glitterati and potential buyers of Hunter’s art, the prices for which range between $75,000 and $500,000.
The White House intervened to say that buyers would be kept anonymous to Hunter and other Biden officials, but Hunter attended his own gallery opening along with renowned potential buyers and celebrity guests who attended the event included World Champion boxer Sugar Ray Leonard, Moby, Garcetti and the artist behind Barack Obama’s iconic Hope poster.
Buck questioned why Hunter Biden’s art was sellilng for prices similar to world-renowned artists
Five of Hunter’s works sold for at least $75,000 each in LA this month, raising questions of whether purchasers might believe they are buying the president’s favor
Five of Hunter’s works sold for at least $75,000 each, raising questions of whether purchasers might believe they are buying the president’s favor.
Last week White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked if the White House knew the identity of the buyers and whether lawyers were now scrutinizing who would be allowed into gallery showings.
‘I know this is your favorite topic,’ said Psaki when asked, ‘but again it still is the purview of the gallerist.’
‘We still do not know, and will not know who purchases any paintings.
‘And the president remains proud of his son.’
Former chief White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter claims Biden’s attendance at the show ‘illustrates how this veil-of-secrecy idea is not happening’.
He claims the White House’s attempt at keeping buyers anonymous is not effective.
‘It shows the deal’s not going to be secret,’ Painter said of the show.
‘I think the White House needs to go to Plan B.’
Painter continued: ‘[Buyers] tend to be rich people, and rich people come to their houses and it tends to get around.
‘Everyone’s going to be talking about it and everyone’s going to know.’
He argues that the best way to prevent people from ‘gaining leverage’ over the White House by purchasing Biden’s artwork is to prevent sales of the work until his father, President Joe Biden, leaves office.
Painter also advocated for ‘full transparency’ of buyers’ identities and thinks the president and his appointees should ‘all sign recusal pledges to ensure these people can’t get access to the White House’.
‘We did that in the Bush White House,’ he said.