Daily US Times: The Biden administration has defended its role in helping to broker a deal that will shroud art deals by President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden in secrecy.
Paintings by the president’s son are expected to fetch up to $500,000 apiece at auction this autumn.
President Joe Biden’s spokeswoman said “reasonable safeguards” had been applied to the upcoming sale.
But a former ethics chief of the White House, who worked under Obama administration, said the arrangement was “very disappointing”.
Hunter Biden’s business dealings in China, Ukraine and elsewhere have often been held up by Republican critics as a conflict of interest for his father, which both Bidens deny.
The younger Biden is currently facing a federal tax investigation, though Mr Hunter has said he is “100% certain” he will be cleared.
On Friday, when asked about the White House’s reported role in the art sale of Hunter Biden, press secretary Jen Psaki said: “After careful consideration, a system has been established that allows for Hunter Biden to work in his profession within reasonable safeguards.”
The White House spokesperson said Hunter Biden has the right to pursue an artistic career just like any child of a president has the right to pursue a career.
The buyers are supposed to remain anonymous to the president’s son, as part of the arrangement, in order to prevent influence-peddlers seeking to curry favour with the US president.
Ms Psaki said: “I think it would be challenging for an anonymous person who we don’t know and Hunter Biden doesn’t know to have influence.”
But Walter Shaub, who served as ethics chief under former President Barack Obama’s administration, rejected the White House’s claim that the arrangement would ensure transparency.
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