Hunter Biden’s artwork dealings have caused Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL) to introduce legislation Wednesday to block the “shameless grift” of selling “art” to “anonymous” investors for up to $500,000.
The legislation is “aimed at stopping the obvious and shameless grift that’s going on with Hunter Biden’s art sales, for which he is obviously not qualified to do and is only doing to continue to profit off of his family name,” Waltz told Fox News on Tuesday.
The bill’s name is called, “The PAINTER Act” and will attempt to put “some transparency in place” upon “the president’s grown children” by amending the Ethics in Government Act.
“But when you’re seeing the brand-new venture, money-making venture, with zero qualifications that are clearly hanging solely on the family name with anonymous buyers, that is a completely different matter and that’s what really gives me pause,” Waltz said about Hunter’s business dealings, which include being “an equity holder in the China nuclear power group that is blacklisted for trying to steal American warhead technology.”
“And then you add that to the Chinese dealings, the Burisma dealings and the kind of long, sad history of selling the Biden name for influence,” he continued. “We have to do something about it.”
To make the optics worse, Hunter recently struck a deal with art dealer Georges Bergès, who has strong connections with China, which, incidentally, occurred around the time when President Joe Biden’s son consummated deals with Chinese officials and made tens of thousands of dollars per month serving on the board of Burisma in 2014.
“My plan is to be the lead guy in China; the lead collector and art dealer discovering and nurturing talent from that region,” Bergès said in 2015. “I plan to find and discover and bring to the rest of the world those I consider China’s next generation of modern artists.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki on July 22 labeled Hunter’s meeting with potential “anonymous” art buyers in New York and Los Angeles as “reasonable.”
“The only way to address these issues is with greater transparency–not less,” Schweizer explained. “Their proposed solution is greater secrecy, not transparency. And they are essentially saying ‘Trust Us.’ Joe and Hunter Biden’s track record on such matters gives us no reason to trust them.”
Art critics, too, are coming forth with concerns.
Senior Art Critic Jerry Saltz on Friday said, “imagine” if Donald Trump Jr. “made little watercolors” like Hunter Biden’s “art” and “sold them at an iffy commercial gallery for upwards of $150,000.”
Artnet News’s national art critic Ben Davis wrote the headline, “Hey Hunter Biden, Here’s a Radically Simple Solution for All Your Art Woes: Don’t Sell Your Work,” with the subtitle, “If Hunter Biden wants his art to be received outside a political black box, his best bet is not to sell it.”
Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations last year specified the art world as “an environment ripe for laundering money.
“Secrecy, anonymity, and a lack of regulation create an environment ripe for laundering money and evading sanctions,” the committee stated. “Given the intrinsic secrecy of the art industry, it is clear that change is needed in this multi-billion dollar industry.”