Posted by on January 25, 2023 2:47 pm
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House Republicans probe Hunter Biden’s anonymous art deals

Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. (Visar Kryeziu/AP)

House Republicans probe Hunter Biden’s anonymous art deals

Sarah Westwood January 25, 02:05 PMJanuary 25, 02:45 PM Video Embed

House Republicans are demanding answers about Hunter Biden’s anonymous art sales as they prepare to dig deeper into the business dealings of the president’s son.

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) sent a letter on Wednesday to Hunter Biden’s art dealer, George Berges, asking for information about the younger Biden’s sudden success in the art world.

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“Despite being a novice artist, Hunter Biden received exorbitant amounts of money selling his artwork, the buyers’ identities remain unknown, and you appear to be the sole record keeper of these lucrative transactions,” Comer wrote to Berges, who has sold Hunter Biden’s paintings at his New York City gallery.

Comer asked Berges to provide all communications between his gallery and the White House, as well as all documents related to the high-dollar sales of Hunter Biden’s artwork.

The pieces have sold for as much as $225,000, Comer noted in his letter, citing media reports.

Republicans have raised concerns since 2021 that foreign nationals or other individuals could buy Hunter Biden’s art with the sole intention of ingratiating themselves with the president’s family.

Art critics have largely panned Hunter Biden’s works; many have said the prices Berges has supposedly charged for the paintings far exceed their artistic value.

“George Berges may be bluffing and talking up Biden’s prices,” Ben Davis, a prominent art critic, told Politico in 2021. “There’s no science to such things. But it is absolutely, 100% certain that what is being sold is the Biden name and story.”

House Republicans have asked Berges for information previously, but they did so before taking over subpoena power from Democrats this year.

Berges told the New York Post in December that he ignored a call from Comer’s staff shortly after the midterm elections, as Republicans prepared to assume the House majority.

He also said he has “hope that we don’t politicize something that is positive and good” in Hunter Biden’s fledgling art career.

Facing scrutiny in 2021 ahead of Hunter Biden’s first gallery show, the White House said it had established an ethics framework to insulate the president from potential impropriety.

The buyers would remain anonymous, the White House said, from both the president and the artist himself. Berges had reportedly pledged to reject any bid on Hunter Biden’s artwork that he found suspicious.

The website for Berges’s art gallery appeared to be offline on Wednesday, although pictures of Hunter Biden’s art remained on the gallery’s social media page.

Comer also asked Berges to submit for a transcribed interview, which he requested the art dealer to schedule before Feb. 15.

House Democrats set a precedent of securing the Justice Department’s cooperation in enforcing congressional subpoenas; two former aides to Donald Trump, Steve Bannon and Peter Navarro, were indicted for contempt of Congress.

Bannon was convicted for his refusal to comply with a congressional subpoena, while prosecutors are still pursuing charges against Navarro.

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Whether the Justice Department would enforce Republicans’ requests for help as aggressively remains unclear.

The Biden administration has maintained that House GOP investigations are largely partisan, and has therefore downplayed the credibility of the inquiries.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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