Psaki “unaware of plans” for Joe Biden to attend expensive Hunter art show
WASHINGTON – White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Wednesday she was “not aware” of any plans for President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden to attend an upcoming event of the gallery in New York with potential buyers of his son Hunter Biden’s artwork.
The first son is asking up to $ 500,000 for his novice coins, which ethics experts say are inflated prices based on his father’s official position.
“I’m not aware of any plans for them to attend,” Psaki said during his daily press briefing.
The question came from New York Times reporter Zolan Kanno-Youngs, who noted that the gallery owner “was responsible for ensuring that buyers of Hunter Biden’s artwork remained anonymous – he said Hunter would attend his. grand opening next month and said friends and family will be attending as well.
Hunter Biden is often accused of taking advantage of his father’s official roles, including when he was vice president.
Psaki declined to comment on the president’s interactions with his son regarding the art sale in response to a follow-up question Wednesday from The Post.
“I have spoken at length about the arrangements, which are not White House arrangements. These are arrangements between representatives of Hunter Biden and [the gallery]. I don’t think I have anything to add in this regard, ”she said.
Walter Shaub, director of the United States Office of Government Ethics under President Barack Obama, called for the sales to be canceled or for the names of buyers to be disclosed in order to prevent secret buying of influence.
“Hunter Biden should cancel this art sale because he knows the prices are based on his father’s work. Shame on POTUS if he doesn’t ask Hunter to stop. If that fails he should ask for the names. buyers are disclosed and agree to let us know if a buyer ever meets with administrative officials, ”Shaub said. recently tweeted.
Richard Painter, a defeated 2018 Democratic Senate candidate and chief White House ethics lawyer under President George W. Bush, also criticized art sales.
“Bottom line: secrecy never works in ethics. Whether it’s secret sales of Hunter Biden artwork or secret University of Pennsylvania donations from China and Saudi Arabia. The secret never works ”, Painter recently wrote.
Psaki has repeatedly championed the sale and secrecy around the identity of buyers, claiming that Hunter Biden has a “right” to an “artistic career” and that the assumed anonymity of buyers means influence peddling is impossible.
Elder Biden’s ties to his son’s business ventures have long been obscure.
Documents and photos from a laptop computer that belonged to Hunter Biden indicate that Joe Biden attended a dinner in 2015 at Cafe Milano in the Georgetown neighborhood of DC with a group of his son’s associates – including a trio of Kazakhs and Russian billionaire Yelena Baturina and her husband, ex-Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov. A Senate report released in September indicated that a company linked to Hunter Biden received $ 3.5 million from Baturina in 2014.
One photo shows Elder Biden posing with the Kazakh group – and a day later Vadym Pozharskyi, an executive at Ukrainian energy company Burisma, who paid Hunter Biden $ 83,000 a month to sit on its board of directors , sent an email to the second son at the time to thank him. to have the opportunity to meet his father.
Photos and emails released by The Post also indicate that Joe Biden in 2015 welcomed his son and a group of Mexican associates to the vice president’s official residence. In 2016, Hunter Biden apparently emailed one of these associates while aboard Air Force Two for an official visit to Mexico, complaining that he had not received any favors. reciprocal business after “I brought all the people you ever asked me to bring to the F’ing White House and the Vice President’s house and the grand opening.”
Hunter Biden still co-owns a Chinese investment firm known as BHR Partners, which was formed 12 days after joining his father aboard Air Force Two for a December 2013 trip to Beijing, according to reports. recently published business documents. The Wall Street Journal reports that BHR is owned by Chinese public entities.
A 2017 email retrieved from Hunter Biden’s laptop described a 10% layaway for “the fat guy” in a possible deal involving a Chinese energy company. That deal didn’t materialize, but Hunter Biden’s former business partner Tony Bobulinski said Joe Biden was the “big guy.”