The top Republican on the House Oversight Committee wants the panel to investigate the sale of Hunter Biden’s artwork — which could earn President Biden’s son millions — and he has contacted the gallery owner to divulge details of the ethics deal he reached with the White House.
”It is the Oversight Committee’s responsibly to scrutinize Mr. Biden’s business activities because he chooses to conduct them in the most murky and corrupt corners of international affairs,” Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) wrote in the letter sent Tuesday and obtained by The Post.
Comer pointed out that Hunter Biden’s New York art dealer, George Berges, is attaching hefty price tags to the works — far beyond even what Hunter believes they will fetch.
“The prices your gallery has set for these pieces by a new, untrained, celebrity artist are unprecedented,” Comer’s letter says. “One New York art adviser said such prices are ‘sort of insulting to the art ecosystem, as if anyone could do it.
“Moreover, he has chosen — in the latest iteration of his career — to sell commodities of fluid and opaque value to anonymous benefactors,” Comer wrote, noting that Biden knows it’s likely buyers will pay inflated prices for his paintings because he is the president’s son.
Berges, who once said he aspired to be the art world’s leader in China, is selling the fledgling artist Biden’s works with prices ranging from $75,000 to $500,000.
The congressman said the deal Berges worked out with the White House to keep purchasers anonymous – even from Hunter – gives “more obscurity for the buyers of Mr. Biden’s compositions.”
Comer also questioned Hunter’s desire to embark on a new career by selling his painting at Berges’ SoHo gallery in October.
Noting Hunter’s “previous roles as lawyer, lobbyist, and ill-defined executive for an international fossil fuel corporation, the latest chapter in – as you describe it – his ‘heroic journey’ is subject to skepticism.”
The Post last October published a series of exposes on Hunter’s lucrative work for Burisma, a Ukrainian energy firm, less than a year before his father, then vice president in the Obama administration – pressed government officials to fire a prosecutor investigating corruption, including Burisma.
The reports also revealed emails found on a laptop Hunter left at a Delaware computer repair shop that raised questions about the younger Biden’s dealings in China.
The arrangement between Berges and the White House to keep Hunter from meeting prospective buyers raised ethical eyebrows when a CBS News report in July said the president’s son would meet with buyers at art shows in Los Angeles and the Big Apple.
The report led to White House press secretary Jen Psaki getting grilled at a daily briefing about whether the agreement had been dumped.
“He’s 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,” Psaki told reporters.
“We won’t know who the buyers are. Hunter Biden won’t know who the buyers are. So I think this line of questioning, which is understandable, is about whether this would provide a situation for undue influence but we won’t know who they are,” she said. “So there’s no scenario where they could provide influence.”