“He can’t possibly think anyone is paying him based on the quality of the art,” said Walter Shaub.
By Josh Plank, World Israel News
Walter Shaub, who served as director of the Office of Government Ethics under the Obama administration, said that the sale of artwork by Hunter Biden, President Joe Biden’s son, to anonymous buyers for “grotesquely inflated” prices creates the risk of influence-seekers covertly funneling money to the Biden family, Fox News reported Monday.
Paintings by the president’s son will sell for up to half a million dollars apiece, according to Georges Berges, Biden’s art dealer.
“The notion of a president’s son capitalizing on that relationship by selling art at obviously inflated prices and keeping the public in the dark about who’s funneling money to him has a shameful and grifty feel to it,” Shaub told Fox.
Shaub said that the identity of the purchasers should be disclosed so that the public can see if the buyers are trying to “gain access to [the] government.”
“I also think it’s ridiculous that Hunter Biden is even going forward with this sale as a first-time artist,” said Shaub.
“He can’t possibly think anyone is paying him based on the quality of the art. This smells like an attempt to cash in on a family connection to the White House,” he said.
The Townsend Group, an agency representing Georges Berges, told Fox Business last week that keeping the identities of art buyers confidential is “standard practice.”
Concerning the high price of Biden’s paintings, the agency said that Berges prices art “based on the demand of the work as well and the intrinsic value of it.”
Still, Shaub believes that the sale of Biden’s art raises serious ethical questions.
“At a minimum, the president should be asking his son not to go through with this auction,” he said.
When asked by Artnet News last week what the president thinks of the paintings, Biden said, “My dad loves everything that I do, and so I’ll leave it at that.”