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Washington Post op-ed mocking Hunter Biden’s art and ethical scandals backfires

Social media users are slamming the Washington Post after the newspaper published a full page of artwork aimed to highlight Hunter Biden’s (pictured) ethical scandals

The Washington Post’s attempt to mock  Hunter Biden‘s artistic aspirations with a full-page op-ed featuring parody paintings inspired by his many ethical controversies backfired when critics slammed the newspaper for failing to take those controversies seriously in its past coverage.

The op-ed by Meghan Kruger was published Monday under the headline Sneak Preview! Paintings from the Hunter Biden Art Show – making light of the real art show the president’s son will be featured in at a Manhattan gallery. 

Earlier this month it was revealed that the White House helped carve out a deal under which Hunter could sell his paintings for up to $500,000 without disclosing the identity of the buyers – thereby ensuring that they would not win presidential favors.

However, ethics experts raised alarm about the plan amid questions over how the administration and Hunter’s lawyers will stop individual buyers from reaching out to him and potentially seeking influence through purchases.  

The Post seized on the alarm in its parody op-ed, in which it drew from the other shady business dealings that have dogged Hunter ever since his father Joe launched his presidential campaign.  

Editor Glen Kessler shared the piece on his Twitter account – where it was swiftly called out by critics who reminded of the Post’s history of downplaying allegations surrounding Hunter.  

The first of five artworks was titled From the Heart and includes a framed photo reading ‘I Heart Burisma’. 

The op-ed by Meghan Kruger was published Monday under the headline Sneak Preview! Paintings from the Hunter Biden Art Show - making light of the real art show the president's son will be featured in at a Manhattan gallery

The op-ed by Meghan Kruger was published Monday under the headline Sneak Preview! Paintings from the Hunter Biden Art Show – making light of the real art show the president’s son will be featured in at a Manhattan gallery

The first fictitious work featured in the article (above) refers to Biden's involvement with Ukrainian gas firm Burisma Holdings in 2019 and his alleged relationship with DC consultancy firm Blue Star Strategies

The first fictitious work featured in the article (above) refers to Biden’s involvement with Ukrainian gas firm Burisma Holdings in 2019 and his alleged relationship with DC consultancy firm Blue Star Strategies

It refers to Biden’s involvement with Ukrainian gas firm Burisma Holdings in 2019, which was caused outrage on Capitol Hill due to his alleged relationship with DC consultancy firm Blue Star Strategies.

Blue Star was dragged into the political firestorm around Hunter’s involvement with Burisma when it emerged that the company hired the Washington, DC lobbying shop to improve the image of its owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, who has been accused of corruption in Ukraine and investigated by British authorities. The US Department of Justice also launched an investigation into the incident.

During her testimony, Karen Tramontano, Blue Star Strategies co-founder and CEO, said Hunter did not direct any of her firm’s work for Burisma, claimed that at first she did not know Hunter Biden was on its board, and that she did not intend to influence US policy through her meetings with US officials.

However email communications, obtained exclusively by DailyMail.com last month from Biden’s abandoned laptop, revealed he was intimately involved with Blue Star’s hiring by Burisma. 

The second piece of artwork featured in the Washington Post piece is titled The Treachery of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. 

The second piece of artwork featured in the piece (above) comments on the allegations that Biden asked for money from China and suggests that in return he could help bend his father's foreign policy in the country's favor

The second piece of artwork featured in the piece (above) comments on the allegations that Biden asked for money from China and suggests that in return he could help bend his father’s foreign policy in the country’s favor

It includes a framed sketch of a 100 Chinese Yuan banknote and is captioned ‘ceci n’est pas une bribe’ which means ‘this is not a bribe’ in French.

The work comments on the allegations that Biden asked for money from China and suggests that in return he could help bend his father’s foreign policy in the country’s favor.

Biden accompanied his father on a trip to China in 2013 where the vice president met with Chinese President Xi Jinping. 

The trip faced scrutiny after the younger Biden ended up inking a deal for his hedge fund with the Bank of China within ten days of the visit. 

The third piece of art in the gallery, titled Federal Income Tax Return, is a mixed media piece showcasing Biden’s ‘response to the challenge posed by IRS Form 1040’.

The third piece of art (above) showcases Biden's 'response to the challenge posed by IRS Form 1040.' This piece is commenting on the federal probe into his finances and stems from his work in China and Ukraine

The third piece of art (above) showcases Biden’s ‘response to the challenge posed by IRS Form 1040.’ This piece is commenting on the federal probe into his finances and stems from his work in China and Ukraine

This piece is commenting on the federal probe into Biden’s taxes which began in 2018. The Justice Department is investigating Biden’s finances and stems from his work in China and Ukraine. Investigators have scrutinized some of his Chinese business dealings, as well as other transactions.

Biden, who says he is fully cooperating with the probe, asserts his innocence and denies allegations that he gave his father any money from his foreign dealings.

Biden was on the board Burisma while his father was vice president. During that time Joe urged the Ukrainian government to fire a prosecutor, which some allege was done to benefit Burisma.

The fourth piece is a titled The Art Buyer as Seen From the White House Ethics Office and parodies Rene Magritte’s 1946 painting titled The Son of Man. 

The fourth piece, seen above, comments on Biden's newly pursued art career and the role that President Joe Biden's Administration played in brokering arrangements for the sale of his paintings

It is meant to be a parody of Rene Magritte's 1946 painting titled The Son of Man (above)

The fourth piece is a titled The Art Buyer as Seen From the White House Ethics Office (left) and parodies Rene Magritte’s 1946 painting titled The Son of Man (right). It comments on Biden’s newly pursued art career and the role that President Joe Biden’s Administration played in brokering arrangements for the sale of his paintings

Magritte’s piece, a self-portrait, featured a man wearing an overcoat and bowler hat standing by the sea in front of a break wall. His face is obstructed by a green apple.

In the parody piece, the painting’s subject, suggested to be Biden, is in the same environment. But, instead of an overcoat, Biden is wearing a shirt that read ‘lobbyist’ which was then crossed out and replaced with the words ‘fine art collector.’ 

This piece is likely commenting on Biden’s newly pursued art career and the role that President Joe Biden’s Administration played in brokering arrangements for the sale of his paintings.

Earlier this month, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed the White House helped set up a deal for buyers’ identities to remain hidden to ensure they did not win presidential favors.   

‘I think it would be challenging for an anonymous person, who we don’t know and Hunter Biden doesn’t know, to have influence,’ she said during a press briefing.

‘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, but all interactions regarding the selling of art and the setting of prices will be handled by a professional gallerist, adhering to the highest industry standards, and any offer out of the normal course would be rejected out of hand,’ Psaki added.

‘And the gallerist will not share information about buyers or prospective buyers, including their identities with Hunter Biden or the administration, which provides quite a level of protection and transparency.’

While the idea behind the plan was to avoid a situation where Biden might be in the position to provide favors to buyers, critics say it still offers an opportunity for unidentified individuals to shovel large sums to the president’s son as he battles high living costs and legal fees. 

The final fictitious work of art included in piece (seen above) suggests that Biden would not even have an art gallery if he wasn't the president's son

The final fictitious work of art included in piece (seen above) suggests that Biden would not even have an art gallery if he wasn’t the president’s son

The final fictitious work of art included an empty frame titled Painters Who Would Appear in This Gallery if Not Named Biden, indicating that Biden would not even have an art gallery if he wasn’t the president’s son.

Biden’s New York art show is set for this fall. His works are expected to be listed for prices ranging from $75,000 to as high as $500,000.

Art dealers have already noted that Biden is likely profiting off his father’s name given the staggering price of his artwork, with one saying his art would more likely sell for as much as $100,000 if he wasn’t a Biden. 

Washington Post editor Glen Kessler shared the piece on his Twitter account on Monday with a tweet reading, ‘Wash Post op-ed page pulls no punches with biting and funny ‘exhibition’ of Hunter Biden’s art via Meghan Kruger.’

Washington Post editor Glen Kessler shared the piece on his Twitter account (tweet pictured above)

Washington Post editor Glen Kessler shared the piece on his Twitter account (tweet pictured above)

However, Kessler faced backlash from users who argued it took the outlet too long to expose Biden’s alleged misdoings.

 ‘You’re a bit late?’ one wrote.

 ‘About time!!’ added another.

These comments come just months after Kessler mocked investigations and media references about the ongoing scandals surrounding Biden.

In December, Kessler tweeted out an New York Post article accusing then President Donald Trump on ‘cheering for an undemocratic coup.’ 

‘In his final weeks of campaigning, Trump repeatedly praised the NY Post for publishing the laptop stuff —> Give it up, Mr. President — for your sake and the nation’s,’ Kessler wrote in the tweet.

 Now, he is being called out for his alleged change of opinion.

Now, he's facing backlash from users who argued it took the newspaper too long to expose Biden's alleged misdoings

Now, he’s facing backlash from users who argued it took the newspaper too long to expose Biden’s alleged misdoings

EXCLUSIVE: Hunter Biden was arranging for VP Joe to quit politics and start a DC ‘swamp’ consultancy firm together, raising MORE questions over President’s claim that he has never discussed business with his son

Joe Biden had plans to join a law and consultancy firm with his sons Hunter and Beau, emails reveal.

Hunter discussed the proposed firm in a November 2014 email with his business partner and Biden family friend Jeff Cooper, a lawyer and entrepreneur.

The plans were thwarted by Beau’s tragic death in 2015 from brain cancer, setting the whole family on a drastically different path.

Had Beau not passed away, the emails suggest that Joe Biden might have quit politics and entered the DC ‘swamp’ of politically-tied lawyers and highly-paid consultants and lobbyists – a world he has decried in speeches.

The email also raises questions over the president’s claim that he never discussed business with Hunter.

Emails obtaned by Hunter Biden's laptop show Joe Biden planned to join a law and consultancy firm with his sons Hunter (left) and Beau  (right)

Emails obtaned by Hunter Biden’s laptop show Joe Biden planned to join a law and consultancy firm with his sons Hunter (left) and Beau  (right) 

Hunter discussed the proposed firm in a November 2014 email with his business partner and Biden family friend Jeff Cooper

Hunter discussed the proposed firm in a November 2014 email with his business partner and Biden family friend Jeff Cooper

This claim has come under increasing scrutiny after emails from Hunter’s abandoned laptop revealed multiple instances where Joe appeared to be involved in business meetings relating to Hunter – both during his tenure as vice president and after he left office.

A now-infamous email between Hunter and his business partners in a multi-million-dollar deal with Chinese oil giant CEFC, consultant James Gilliar set out potential terms of the deal and listed ’10 held by H for the big guy?’

The email also raises questions over the president's claim that he never discussed business with Hunter

The email also raises questions over the president’s claim that he never discussed business with Hunter

The mysterious phrase from the May 2017 message has been interpreted as a proposal for Hunter to hold 10% of the shares in the joint venture on behalf of his father, who is referred to as ‘the big guy’ in several other emails on the laptop.

The president has denied this interpretation.

Other emails show Joe attended a private dinner with Hunter and his business partners and potential clients while he was vice president.

Hunter wrote to a friend before the 2015 Washington DC dinner that it was ‘ostensibly to discuss food security’, but was in fact an opportunity to introduce his potential clients and partners to his powerful father.

This month DailyMail.com revealed Hunter arranged White House and vice presidential residence meetings with his father for two Mexican billionaires with whom he was planning multi-million-dollar business ventures – and that Joe took Hunter and his business partner on Air Force 2 to Mexico amid those deals.

And last month DailyMail.com revealed that former FBI director Louis Freeh, who represented a criminal Romanian property tycoon alongside Hunter, spoke with Joe while the VP was still in office about the Biden father and son joining his consultancy firm in 2017.

The White House has failed to respond to DailyMail.com’s questions about any of the incidents.

Hunter discussed his proposed new Biden family company in an email with Cooper dated November 20, 2014, with the title ‘Firm’.

He set out ‘ball park’ annual overheads for the consultancy shop totaling $1.2 million including a $500,000 salary for his brother Beau.

His other estimates included $250,000 for a senior attorney, $175,000 for a junior attorney, $65,000 for an administrative assistant and $20,000 per month for ‘office and other expenses’.

The plans were thwarted by Beau's tragic death in 2015 from brain cancer. The family are pictured at Beau's funeral

The plans were thwarted by Beau’s tragic death in 2015 from brain cancer. The family are pictured at Beau’s funeral  

Joe Biden entertained Mexican billionaires Carlos Slim and Miguel Alemán Velasco - his son Hunter's business associates - in the vice president's office in 2014

Joe Biden entertained Mexican billionaires Carlos Slim and Miguel Alemán Velasco – his son Hunter’s business associates – in the vice president’s office in 2014

While Hunter and Biden family friend Jeff Cooper (far left) were working on their business plans, they managed to get the billionaires Slim, Velasco and Magnani a private 'meeting' with then-vice president Joe Biden in the VP's office. Photos on Hunter's laptop dated November 19, 2015, show the six men smiling at a meeting in Joe Biden¿s DC residence. Emails show the men also met Joe at the White House

While Hunter and Biden family friend Jeff Cooper (far left) were working on their business plans, they managed to get the billionaires Slim, Velasco and Magnani a private ‘meeting’ with then-vice president Joe Biden in the VP’s office. Photos on Hunter’s laptop dated November 19, 2015, show the six men smiling at a meeting in Joe Biden’s DC residence. Emails show the men also met Joe at the White House

Cooper replied asking if Beau, referred to in the email as ‘BB’, could ‘offset the 500k by sitting on a few Boards etc’, and if Hunter had ‘any guesses on built-in clients for the firm?’

‘Hadn’t thought about boards- any ideas?’ Hunter replied to Cooper, adding that he worried $500,000 wouldn’t be enough for Beau.

Hunter indicated that he would not only have Beau on board in the new venture, but his father too ¿ referring to them both by 'JRB'

Hunter indicated that he would not only have Beau on board in the new venture, but his father too – referring to them both by ‘JRB’

‘My main concern is that he has at least that much income guaranteed for two years. He’s been offered that by Stuart Grant in return for joining his firm and being available to Stuart for client development.’

Grant is a prominent Wilmington litigator, entrepreneur and Democratic Party fundraiser.

Beau ended up joining Grant’s firm in the months before he died, after he left office as Delaware attorney general in 2015.

‘We could probably go as low as 350 but there are some real costs associated with upcoming treatments not covered by insurance,’ Hunter continued in the November 2014 email.

‘At the outset we probably wouldn’t need the junior attorney until things really started rolling. As for built in clients I think that will depend on who we get as ‘senior attorney.’

‘I don’t want to have to ‘partner’ with an existing firm (like another Bifferato deal), but like the idea of a relatively senior lawyer coming with some clients and the promise of revenue sharing or upside.’

Hunter then indicated that he would not only have Beau on board in the new venture, but his father too – referring to them both by ‘JRB’, the initials of their full names, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr and Joseph Robinette Biden III.

‘In order to develop this as a platform for both JRBs I think it is imperative we (the three of us) have full control come 2016 when JRB1 comes on board,’ Hunter wrote.

Cooper, who was planning the new firm with Hunter, had close ties with the Biden family for years.

The men reportedly met through their wives: Francesca Cooper went to high school with Hunter’s first wife Kathleen Biden.

His Illinois law firm, asbestos claim litigation specialists SimmonsCooper, worked with Beau’s Delaware law firm on dozens of cases.

It also bankrolled Hunter and Joe’s brother Jim’s unsuccessful attempt to buy a hedge fund in 2006. 

Texts from Hunter to his daughter Naomi in 2019 show he complained about having to give Joe half of his salary. He also threatened to never give her a 'dime' again

Texts from Hunter to his daughter Naomi in 2019 show he complained about having to give Joe half of his salary. He also threatened to never give her a ‘dime’ again

The texts about AT&T were from 2018 - when Joe Biden had earned more than $11million

The texts about AT&T were from 2018 – when Joe Biden had earned more than $11million 

By 2008 SimmonsCooper was Joe Biden’s number one donor, giving $200,000 over the previous eight years.

The large donations, and thousands more to Beau’s political campaigns, drew scrutiny when Joe, in his role as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, helped block an asbestos reform.

The reform would have jeopardized SimmonsCooper’s business, and the firm lobbied him over the issue.

At the time, a spokesman for Joe told the Los Angeles Times that all the SimmonsCooper business deals with his sons and brother were above board, and no special favors were arranged.

Even deeper financial ties between the president and his son were revealed this month, when emails and texts from Hunter’s laptop emerged showing that he paid many of his father’s bills.

Hunter complained that ‘half’ of his salary went to paying his father’s bills while he was Vice President, casting doubt on Joe’s previous claims that he has never benefited from his son’s business dealings.

The bills included a $190-a-month AT&T phone bill and thousands in repairs on Joe’s lakeside home in Wilmington.

The payments were described in a 2010 email, when Joe Biden was earning $225,000-a-year as Vice President. He had already made well over $100,000-a-year for decades prior as a senator and author.

In 2010 emails between Hunter and Eric Schwerin, his business partner at consultancy firm Rosemont Seneca, they discussed how much they needed to spend paying Joe’s bills.

The email subject was ‘JRB bills’ – which match Joe’s initials – and described how $2,600 was to be paid to a contractor for a ‘stone retaining wall’ at Joe’s home, along with $1,475 to be paid to a painter for the ‘back wall and columns’ of the property and $1,239 to a builder who’d fixed the AC at Joe’s late mother’s home.

He rented that house to the Secret Service for $2,200 a month.

Years later, in a text to his own daughter, Hunter – who had by then been battling drug addiction for years – he complained: ‘I hope you all can do what I did and pay for everything for this entire family for 30 years.

‘It’s really hard. But don’t worry, unlike Pop [Joe], I won’t make you give me half your salary.’

It was a text he sent to his daughter Naomi in 2019.

In a June 2010 email, Schwerin wrote to Hunter: ‘FYI, there are a few outstanding bills that need to be paid and I am not sure which ones are a priority and which should get paid out of ‘my’ account and which should be put on hold or paid out of the ‘Wilmington Trust Social Security Check Account.

‘There is about $2,000 extra in ‘my’ account beyond what is used for monthly expenses.’

It is unclear why he put the word my in quotation marks.

 

In 2010 emails between Hunter and Eric Schwerin, his business partner at consultancy firm Rosemont Seneca, they discussed how much they needed to spend paying Joe's bills

In 2010 emails between Hunter and Eric Schwerin, his business partner at consultancy firm Rosemont Seneca, they discussed how much they needed to spend paying Joe’s bills

In another email the same month, Schwerin said: ‘Mike Christopher [builder] is hassling me so I am paying a couple of the smaller things since I haven’t heard from your Dad. Know he’s busy — so it’s OK.

‘But if you think he has a moment or two to review the e-mail I sent you let me know.’

The following month, Schwerin said: ‘Does it make sense to see if your Dad has some time in the next couple of weeks while you are in DC to talk about it? Your Dad just called me about his mortgage . . . so it dawned on me to might be a good time [for] some positive news about his future earnings potential.’

In the years after he left office as Vice President, Joe and Jill Biden made millions through book deals and speaking engagements.

In 2017 alone, the couple declared $11.1 million in earnings – more than double they had made in any other year for 18 years prior. Joe has always insisted the money was earned above board.

In a 2018 email to one of his own assistants, Hunter complained that he had been shut out of his own bank account and that his father had been using it.

‘Too many cooks in the kitchen. Too many profile changes and such. Happened 10 days ago too…

‘My dad has been using most lines on this account which I’ve through the gracious offerings of Eric have paid for past 11 years,’ he said.




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