Talented Mr Biden: Hunter's Art Sales Reek of Pay-to-Play But DoJ Lost Sense of Smell, Analysts Say
It is obvious to everyone that Hunter Biden's art exhibitions are nothing but a new influence-peddling scheme, say Wall Street analyst Charles Ortel and investigative journalist Jason Goodman, who are wondering how long the Bidens' shady deeds will remain officially unseen by the US justice machine.
Hunter Biden’s New York City exhibition kicked off on 23 October at the Georges Berges Gallery in SoHo, with the novice artist's paintings being offered at prices ranging from $75,000 to $500,000 each. However, it's not easy to enter Berges' sanctum sanctorum, as the gallery is using a team of lawyers to vet anyone who wants to see Hunter's art show, according to the New York Post.
It is not the first time that Hunter Biden has tested the waters of some new field and immediately achieved impressive results. In 2014, Hunter was invited to the board of directors of Ukrainian gas firm Burisma, being offered a salary reportedly amounting to $83,333 per month despite having zero experience in the energy field. Similarly, in 2013, Joe's versatile son managed to create a $1 billion private investment fund with China's Bohai Capital even though his firm Rosemont Seneca was founded just four years earlier and he himself was seen by many as a novice in the field.
16 October 2021, 14:30 GMT
'Biden's Artworks are Insult to Real Artists'
It appears that American lawmakers have never believed in Hunter's innate talent to succeed despite having no expertise in a sphere of his choice. In September 2020, GOP senators released
a report indicating that most of Hunter Biden's financial gains
occurred at the time when his father was vice president. A month later, The New York Post released a series of bombshell reports
suggesting that Joe Biden was well aware of the influence trading scheme and, possibly, received a percentage from his son's lucrative deals. In addition to that, the latest exposé by the Daily Mail alleged that Joe and Hunter Biden had shared bank accounts
Apparently therefore, doubt has been cast regarding Hunter's artistic skills, while his artwork sales are seen by some GOP lawmakers and conservative observers as yet another form of influence-trading.
"I've been buying art since the 1980s," says Wall Street analyst and investigative journalist Charles Ortel. "But when you start talking about selling paintings for $500,000 each… that's a very high price for an unknown artist, untrained artist. And there should be something truly special. There should be people who understand, in particular, modern art [and they] should be able to say: 'Well, this is groundbreaking for this reason or for that reason.' I take a look at it as somebody who is not an art expert and I just say: 'This is amateurish crap'."
There are many good artists in New York City who are struggling to have their work showcased in a gallery for any reason, according to the analyst. The fact that unknown artist Hunter Biden has a special show in a NYC gallery which was reportedly attended by just three people on a recent day "should begin to tell you that maybe this is nothing more than a way for people who want to try to get closer to the notoriously, as alleged, corrupt Biden family to get on their good side by sending some money ostensibly to Hunter." According to Ortel, one cannot say how much of this money might end up in the pockets of the Biden family and Joe himself.
"This is obviously not proper," Ortel says. "This is yet another example of an off-market deal where Biden family members are being overcompensated for no good reason. And beyond that it's an insult to artists."
Huge Price Tags & Suspicious Art Deals
Meanwhile, impressive price tags of the first son's debut artworks have attracted attention from Republican lawmakers who pressured Attorney General Merrick Garland to appoint a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden's art sales.
During the 21 October House Judiciary Committee hearing, Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) showed Garland two paintings from famous artists Claud Monet and Edgar Degas, estimated at $700,000 and $500,000, respectively. Then he showed a debut artwork by Joe Biden's son, offered for $500,000, adding that Hunter has never had any artistic background and was unable to find a gallery to exhibit his works before 2020. The congressman raised the question as to whether it is a mere coincidence that Hunter Biden's pricey paintings have been in demand since his father won the presidency.
Back in July, the White House asserted to the press that it struck a deal with the gallery to keep the identities of any buyers secret both to Hunter Biden and the Biden administration. However, Republican lawmakers did not buy into this, arguing that the information about the deals could easily find its way out.
In September 2021, Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) sent a letter obtained
by The New York Post to Hunter’s art dealer, Georges Berges, requesting documents about the White House's ethical arrangements with the gallery as well as information about potential buyers and purchases of the president's son's paintings.
Berges' ties to the Bidens also raise questions, according to the Daily Mail. The dealer was photographed in a bar wearing a Camp David hat earlier this month. Camp David is the traditional retreat of the sitting US president.
The picture, shared on Instagram by celebrity interviewer George Wayne, triggered questions as to whether Berges spent time with the Bidens before the opening of Hunter's art exhibition in SoHo.
The Bidens' Scandal Remains Officially Unseen
It appears that the Bidens don't care about ethical issues when it comes to their influence-peddling schemes, according to Jason Goodman, an American investigative journalist and founder of Crowdsource the Truth.
At the same time, Hunter Biden does not seem disturbed by the IRS-FBI probe into his financial operations, as he still hasn’t sold his stake in the Beijing-connected firm despite previously vowing to do so.
"Hunter Biden fears an FBI investigation possibly less than the average person fears a parking ticket, it’s viewed as a minor nuisance," Goodman presumes. "If the Bidens gave their actions any thought at all, I would presume they were confident, at least in their own minds, that it would be taken care of without issue."
14 October 2021, 17:56 GMT
Apparently, the Bidens have a good reason to sleep well at night, as the FBI, Big Tech, and Big Media are largely continuing to shield them, while the Biden administration, for its part, appears to return the favour, according to the journalist.
"Take Andrew McCabe for instance, the disgraced, fired former deputy FBI director," Goodman notes. "His removal and the controversy surrounding it were the top news stories in March 2018. Now that Trump is out and Biden controls the DOJ, this disgraceful criminal has had his pension restored and all records of his firing expunged."
The Biden scandal disappeared "like Houdini's elephant" with the help of the media, Silicon Valley giants and intelligence officials who did not want the public to see it, wrote Jonathan Turley, a professor of public interest law at George Washington University, in his blog.
"[A]n influence peddling scheme that directly impacts the President and his family continues to be officially unseen," the lawyer noted on 19 October, adding that the appointment of a special counsel for the Bidens is long overdue.
Turley is correct in saying that the special counsel should be appointed, but of course it is an unlikely outcome under the current administration, Jason Goodman believes.