President Joe Biden's son Hunter and the top Democrat donor have been the center of controversy with the most recent revelation being a high-priced purchase of one of his paintings.
Elizabeth Hirsh Naftali, a Los Angeles real estate investor and frequent Democrat donor, was named to a prestigious commission by the president shortly after purchasing one of Hunter Biden's artworks from an art gallery. It remains unclear if the purchase was made before or after she was appointed to the commission.
This purchase was preceded by emails uncovered on Hunter's laptop that suggested he would have sway in the selection of a member of the same commission.
Another of Hunter's art buyers, Kevin Morris, an attorney from Los Angeles, was recently seen with Hunter while reportedly smoking marijuana out of a bong. The New York Times reported that Morris may have received the art as a gift, though Insider reported that he purchased it.
The majority of Hunter's paintings have been sold for just over $1.38 million dollars, with one buyer purchasing eleven pieces for a staggering $875,000.
Amid the controversy, former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki claimed that professionals adhering to the highest standards would be handling the artworks' prices and sales and that the buyer's identities would not be revealed to Hunter or the Biden administration.
Walter Shaub, former Obama administration head of the Office of Government Ethics, said that the White House has effectively "outsourced government ethics to a private art dealer and they’re depending on unknown art purchasers to help keep the secret."
"You know, on one level I have some empathy for the President because he can’t control his relatives," Shaub continued. "But on another level it just is implausible that this art from an unknown artist would be selling at this price if it didn’t have the Biden name attached to it. The cachet that comes with buying this art is getting to say that you own art created by the President’s son. And so it really looks like the President’s son capitalizing on his father’s public service."
These reports of Hunter's art sales raise questions about the potential unethical treatment of President Biden's son and the potential conflict of interest this purchase may have created for Naftali on the commission. Despite assurances from Psaki, it appears that the Biden administration still has a conflict of interest to address.