White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Friday said first son Hunter Biden has “a right to an artistic career” — and that his upcoming art sales won’t be an avenue for influence-peddling with his father.
Psaki said a “professional gallerist” brokering the sales won’t inform the first son of who is buying his debut artworks — for which he’s seeking up to $500,000 — and that any offers that exceed reason won’t be accepted.
“After careful consideration, a system has been established that allows for Hunter Biden to work in his profession within reasonable safeguards. Of course he has the right to pursue an artistic career just like any child of a president has the right to pursue a career,” Psaki said in response to a question from Weijia Jiang of CBS News.
“All interactions regarding the selling of art and the setting of prices will be handled by a professional gallerist adhering to the highest industry standards and any offer out of the normal course will be rejected out of hand,” Psaki said at her daily press briefing.
“The gallerist will not share information about buyers or prospective buyers, including their identities, with Hunter Biden or the administration, which provides quite a level of protection.”
In response to a follow-up question, Psaki insisted “it would be challenging for an anonymous person who we don’t know and Hunter Biden doesn’t know to have influence.”
Obama administration ethics director Walter Shaub has criticized the White House workaround for Hunter Biden’s art sales, tweeting Thursday, “Imagine you’re the White House official who came up with the idea to outsource government ethics management to an art dealer, and you suddenly realize Russian oligarchs like art too.”
Hunter Biden’s business pursuits and their possible connections to his father’s work have long courted controversy. Former President Donald Trump was impeached in 2019 for asking Ukraine to look into Hunter’s $83,000-per-month job on the board of energy firm Burisma, despite no relevant industry experience, while his vice president father led the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy.
Psaki confirmed Friday to The Post that the first son is “working to unload” a 10 percent stake in a Chinese investment fund that was established 12 days after he joined his father aboard Air Force Two for a 2013 official trip to Beijing. The Wall Street Journal reports that the firm is “controlled and funded primarily by large Chinese government-owned shareholders,” including the Bank of China.