Peter Schweizer, president of the Government Accountability Institute (GAI), said on this week’s broadcast of “Sunday Morning Futures” that President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden’s sale of his art to anonymous buyers is “genius” in a very corrupt way.
Partial transcript as follows:
BARTIROMO: So, Peter, right now, Hunter is getting ready to sell art. He has told us that this is his new job. He is a first-time artist, no training, of course. The pieces are being priced between $75,000 and a half-a-million dollars apiece. You call this scheme genius. Why?
SCHWEIZER: It is genius because — in a very corrupt way, because what was the criticism of Hunter’s previous moneymaking schemes? When he worked went to work for Burisma, the energy company, the criticism was he was getting a million dollars a year. He had no background in Ukrainian energy regulation, no background in energy. Well, art is different than the business world. It’s entirely subjective.
So, if somebody is prepared to send half-a-million dollars to an artist for a piece of art, who can question it? So, in that sense, it’s very genius. But this opens the gateway to massive corruption, Maria, because the art owner, the art partner that he has that’s going to be marketing his art has been very clear that he’s going to market these things overseas. He’s been wanting to break into the Chinese art market for years. And the Senate, actually, in 2019 issued a report talking about how the art world is rife with money laundering and corruption involving foreign oligarchs, because it’s so hard to trace. So it’s a massively troublesome problem. And their explanations simply don’t carry any weight.
BARTIROMO: Well, the White House is saying that, in an effort to be — quote, unquote — “transparent,” they are not going to tell anybody who’s ponying up half-a-million dollars to buy Hunter Biden’s art. What’s to stop a Chinese company, or an Iranian company, a Chinese company tied to the Chinese military and the Communist Party to pay half-a-million dollars for art, and then say, wink, wink, take this company off the blacklist, further my efforts here, further my efforts there, I just bought your art for half-a-million bucks?
SCHWEIZER: Maria, let me underline and underscore what you just said. That’s absolutely correct. There’s nothing stopping them from doing it. And, in fact, the White House’s proposed ethics solution —I will put that in quotation marks — is the exact opposite of what’s called for here. Their solution of transparency is to actually hide who is engaged in the transaction. It’s ludicrous.
Look, I have been critical of Bill and Hillary Clinton and their foreign deals over the years. You have to give them credit. When Hillary Clinton was in the Senate and later as secretary of state, Bill Clinton was collecting a lot of speaking fees from foreign entities. They disclosed those. And to their credit, they disclosed those. In this case, I don’t think Hunter Biden should be doing this to begin with. But if he’s going to do it, they need to disclose and have an independent party verify who is actually paying him for this artwork.
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