Walter Shaub, the former director of Obama’s Office of Government Ethics, slammed the Biden administration on Thursday over its repeated claims that it has established the “highest ethical standards of any administration in American history” by pointing out the continued controversy surrounding the selling of Hunter Biden’s suspiciously high-priced artwork.
The administration claimed in a statement to Fox News that the deal that it helped craft surrounding the process of how Hunter Biden, President Joe Biden’s son, will be allowed to sell his art is a “prime example” of the Biden “family’s commitment to rigorous processes.”
“I certainly hope this is not a ‘prime example’ of the rigorous ethics because this is not rigorous. At some point, they have got to answer questions without deflecting by resorting to this increasingly tired talking point that they have the highest ethics of any administration,” Shaub said. “They can start by sharing this agreement they negotiated with the art dealer. Then, they can pledge to tell us about any contacts the administration has with any known buyers.”
Shaub added, “If they have time, they can tell us why they think it’s appropriate to profit off the presidency after complaining about the last guy doing exactly that.”
The administration previously said that Hunter Biden, the president, the administration, and even the American public would be kept from knowing the identities of the buyers of Hunter Biden’s artwork, which could go for as high as $500,000 — an amount that has drawn criticism as it is significantly more expensive than what most artists seek for their first batch of artwork.
However, a new report this week said that Hunter Biden will be allowed to meet with the prospective buyers of his artwork at the art gallery before they are sold.
“The shows, a small, private affair in Los Angeles and a larger exhibition in New York City will give Biden an opportunity to interact with potential buyers of his paintings, which the gallery expects to sell for as much as $500,000,” CBS News reported. “Asked whether Hunter Biden would attend both events, Georges Berges Gallery spokeswoman Robin Davis said, ‘Oh yes. With pleasure. He’s looking forward to it. It is like someone debuting in the world. And of course, he will be there.’”
“A source familiar with the matter told CBS News Hunter Biden will not discuss potential purchases, prices, or anything related to the selling of artwork,” the report added. “But that raises the question: how would the public ever know what was discussed? There is no known enforcement mechanism or disclosure requirement embedded in the ethics deal. Conversations with potential buyers at the showings would almost certainly stay private.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki claimed during Thursday’s press briefing that Hunter Biden is “not going to have any conversations related to the selling of art, that will be left to the gallerist, as was outlined in the agreement that we announced just a few weeks ago.”