Walter Shaub, the former head of the federal government’s ethics office under President Barack Obama, slammed White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday in response to her dismissal of questions about whether the identity of buyers for Hunter Biden’s art would stay anonymous.
“At least five prints of Hunter Biden’s artwork have already been sold for $75,000 each and a team of lawyers is vetting potential patrons who plan to attend his upcoming gallery show in New York City — which has now been delayed until the spring,” The New York Post reported last week. “It’s unclear who purchased the reproductions — which cost a fraction of the top price of $500,000 for an original piece by President Biden’s scandal-scarred son — or if any more were sold after the LA show opened.”
During Tuesday’s press briefing, Psaki told a reporter asking about the anonymity of the buyers of Hunter Biden’s art, “I know this is your favorite topic, but it, again — it still is the purview of the gallerist. We still do not know and will not know who purchases any paintings. And the President remains proud of his son.”
"There's lots going on in the world" — Jen Psaki didn't have much patience for a New York Post reporter asking her about Hunter Biden's art sales pic.twitter.com/6gV3lUPYPP
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 12, 2021
“These are legitimate questions,” Shaub said in response to Psaki’s comments. “It’s disappointing to hear [Psaki] send a message that the WH thinks the public has no right to ask about ethics. After the last 4 years, these questions have never been more important. I know this isn’t a popular opinion, but this stuff matters.”
“There is no ethics program in the world that can be built around the head of state’s staff working with a dealer to keep the public in the dark about the identities of individuals who pay vast sums to the leader’s family member for subjectively priced items of no intrinsic value,” Shaub tweeted Wednesday. “If this were Trump, Xi [Jinping] or [Vladimir] Putin, you’d have no doubt whatsoever that this creates a vehicle for funneling cash to the first family in exchange for access or favors. Nor would you doubt that the appearance of monetizing the presidency was outrageous.”
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