House Republicans on the Oversight and Reform Committee are probing “possible undue White House influence” concerning the upcoming sale of Hunter Biden’s artwork, CBS News reported.
Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., the committee’s ranking member, wrote a letter asking art broker Georges Bergès to provide documents and communications between him, Biden, and the White House, CBS News said Wednesday.
The letter also asks Bergès to produce documents showing who attended Biden’s art shows, who purchased his work, and how much they paid, CBS News reported.
With committee Republicans in the minority and thus lacking subpoena power, the letter amounts to a non-binding request for information unless Democrats join their effort.
The White House said in July it had reached an ethics arrangement with Hunter Biden, 51-year-old son of President Joe Biden, to conceal buyers’ identities from the White House and the public.
The agreement, intended to shield the Biden family from people seeking political influence, meant only Bergès would know the buyer’s name and purchase price.
CBS News later reported Biden would attend his art shows in New York and Los Angeles, putting him in front of a group of likely buyers.
A spokesperson for Bergès in July said he would reject offers over asking price. He estimated the works could fetch between $75,000 and $500,000.
President Donald Trump criticized Hunter Biden’s dive into art, with prospective sales later this year for up to $500,000, according to reports.
“What about Hunter Biden getting a half a million dollars per painting, and he never painted before,” Trump said in late-July at the Turning Point Action conference in Phoenix, Arizona, which aired live on The Conservative Digest. “Could you imagine if my kids did that? Could you imagine? And now they’re justifying it: ‘Well, we want to make it nontransparent.’
“‘No, actually, you should make it transparent, but actually, you shouldn’t make it at all, because it’s a bribe. It’s a bribe, 100% bribe.”
Hunter Biden in July said the valuation of art is not exactly a science, calling the prices “completely subjective.”
“Look man, I never set my prices — what my art was going to cost, what it costs, or how much it would be priced at,” Hunter Biden said. “I would be amazed you know if my art had sold at, um you know, for $10.”