Hunter Biden's art dealer gives latest evidence shredding WH narrative on Biden family finances
Georges Berges tells Congress he did not communicate with the White House about an ethics agreement for Hunter art sales and that most of the first son's paintings were purchased by Democratic Party donors and at least one political appointee.
The Hunter Biden laptop was Russian disinformation, until it wasn't. Joe Biden never met any of the family's business partners or got proceeds from the ventures, until he did. And now there was an ethics agreement to govern Hunter Biden art sales during the Biden presidency until the art dealer in the middle of those sales revealed there wasn't, at least to his knowledge.
Renowned international art dealer Georges Bergès, whose galleries range from Berlin to New York, and represents Hunter Biden as an artist is the latest figure to blast a hole into the Biden White House narrative about the millions the first family has collected.
No ethics agreement shown to art dealer
According to House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, Berges told Congress in a transcribed interview Tuesday that the White House never communicated anything to him about ethics requirements governing Hunter Biden's art sale and that much of the artwork he sold on behalf of the first son went to two Democrat donors.
"Georges Berges testified under oath that he's never communicated with the White House. He didn't know anything about an ethics agreement. So this is another lie that the White House has told the mainstream media and the American people with respect to the Biden family shady business games," Comer told the "Just the News, No Noise" television show Tuesday night.
This revelation came one night before House Republicans are set to hold a markup on a resolution to hold Hunter Biden in contempt of Congress for his failure to appear for the closed door deposition after he was subpoenaed by the Oversight Committee.
Neither the White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre nor spokesman Ian Sams immediately responded to a request for comment from Just the News.
Hunter Biden’s personal attorney, Abbe Lowell, also did not immediately respond.
Comer's committee released highlights of the art dealer's transcribed interview that confirmed Just the News' prior reporting on the art dealings including:
- Presidential appointee and donor Elizabeth Hirsh Naftali bought Hunter Biden's art work, one piece before she was appointed to a federal commission by Joe Biden and one afterwards;
- Kevin Morris, another Democrat donor who befriended Hunter Biden and became one of his lawyers, bought artwork too;
- Biden fund-raiser Lanette Phillips helped arrange the initial relationship between Bergès art gallery and Hunter Biden that led to the sales.
Just the News reported late last year that federal investigators had confirmed that Morris, a respected Hollywood talent lawyer, had bought at least one Hunter Biden painting for more than $47,500 and also loaned the first son more than $5 million since Joe Biden began running for president.
But, Comer revealed Morris' assistance to Hunter Biden was even larger because Bergès testified that Morris bought closer to $900,000 in paintings from the first son.
"It's very safe to say that your figure on Kevin Morris is probably somewhere around $6 million to Hunter Biden," Comer explained. "So that would include the loans and the artwork and everything else that we know of thus far. Now, Kevin Morris will have an opportunity to come in and explain that."
Morris is slated to be interviewed by Comer’s Oversight Committee in the coming weeks, according to Comer.
New tranche of evidence
Comer also told Just the News that his committee is planning to pursue a new tranche of evidence: all the financial records Hunter Biden turned over in an Arkansas paternity court case that was settled last summer. That case was the source of a portion of the evidence that federal investigators gathered to allege that Hunter Biden engaged in tax evasion. The first son faces nine federal counts in that case now.
Bergès’ lack of knowledge about the ethics agreement previously touted by the White House marks the latest in a series of misleading – or ever-changing – statements by President Biden, his administration, and political allies about the Hunter Biden story, the business dealings of Biden’s relatives, and the president's own personal benefits from the millions in foreign payments the family raked in.
In July 2021, about six months after Joe Biden was inaugurated, then-White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that there would be an ethics agreement to govern Hunter Biden’s art sales while his father occupied the presidency.
“[A] system has been established that allows for Hunter Biden to work in his profession within reasonable safeguards,” Psaki told reporters at the time.
“But all interactions regarding the selling of art and the setting of prices will be handled by a professional gallerist, adhering to the highest industry standards. And any offer out of the normal course would be rejected out of hand,” she continued.
Biden had never sold a painting at exhibition prior to 2021. Alex Acevedo, 75, the owner of the Alexander Gallery in Midtown Manhattan told The Independent that "anybody who buys the president’s son’s work would be guaranteed an instant profit”, and added that is not entirely owing to Hunter Biden’s talent, saying: “He’s the president’s son. Everybody would want a piece of that." Acevedo also told the newspaper that if Hunter Biden were not the president’s son, his work would likely fetch around $25,000 to $100,000.
Bergès told the committee that a majority of Hunter Biden’s art was purchased by Democratic donors, which Chairman Comer called an “ethics nightmare” in a press release following the gallery owner's sworn testimony on Tuesday.
A pattern of changing the story
Previously, 51 former U.S. intelligence officials signed an open letter warning that the explosion of the Hunter Biden laptop story on the eve of the 2020 presidential election has all the hallmarks of a “Russian information operation.”
Following the election, it was revealed that the FBI had verified the authenticity of Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop as early as November of 2019, according to IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley. But, the damage had already been done.
At least one prominent signatory of the letter, Antony Blinken, now serves in the Biden Administration as the Secretary of State.
Previously, President Biden claimed, misleadingly, that he never met with his son’s business partners. “I did not. And it’s just a bunch of lies. They’re lies. I did not. They’re lies,” President Biden said in response to a question from the New York Post about his contacts with his son’s business associates.
Yet, Just the News has extensively documented meetings that Joe Biden had with his son’s business partners from a variety of foreign countries, including Ukraine, China, and Kazakhstan.
In 2014 and 2015, Hunter Biden organized two dinners with some of his European business associates with his father in attendance. Among Hunter Biden's partners who dined with Joe Biden were Russian oligarch Yelena Baturina, Kazakhstani oligarch Kenes Rakishev, and Burisma executive Vadim Pozharskyi – who functioned as Hunter Biden’s point of contact on the board of the Ukrainian gas company. Pozharskyi even sent an email to the younger Biden thanking him for being able to meet the Vice President the next day in April 2015.
Rob Walker, a longtime Biden family friend and business associate, also told the FBI in an interview that Joe Biden personally attended meetings with Hunter Biden’s partners, including one with China-based CEFC Energy and its top executive, according to testimony by IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley, the agency’s supervisory agent for the Biden case.
President Biden and his allies have insisted that the senior Biden never financially benefitted from any of his family’s business dealings, including those organized by his son, Hunter, or his brother, James.
These denials came to a crescendo when Hunter Biden appeared for a speech outside the U.S. Capitol in December, announcing his decision to defy the Congressional subpoena to appear before the House Oversight Committee and claiming that his father had no “financial involvement” in his foreign business deals.
“Let me state as clearly as I can: my father was not financially involved in my business, not as a practicing lawyer, not as a board member of Burisma, not in my partnership with a Chinese private businessman, not in my investments at home nor abroad, and certainly not as an artist,” Biden told the assembled reporters, his lawyers Kevin Morris and Abbe Lowell in tow.
The documentary evidence keeps mounting despite denials
Yet, the Oversight Committee has uncovered bank records that both Hunter and James Biden sent money to Joe Biden which coincided with payments from Chinese companies.
The records show that at least one payment of $1,380 was sent from Hunter Biden’s Owasco PC to Joe Biden in September 17, 2018, Just the News reported in December. At the time, Hunter Biden’s Owasco PC account was receiving payments from Hudson West III, a joint venture set up with executives from CEFC China Energy—a Chinese company that sent at nearly $5 million to the first son over the course of their partnership.
In addition, a $40,000 check from James Biden to Joe Biden was linked by the Oversight Committee to a larger payment that the President’s brother received from the network of companies connected to CEFC. A Chinese company connected to CEFC sent $5 million in August 2017 to Hunter Biden's company, according to the committee.
Later that month, Hunter Biden wired $150,000 to Lion Hall Group, a company owned by Joe Biden's brother, James Biden, and his sister-in-law Sara Biden, evidence shows. Days later, Sara Biden took out $50,000 in cash from Lion Hall Group and then deposited it into her and James Biden's personal account that same day. The following week, Sara Biden sent a $40,000 check to Joe Biden marked as a "loan repayment,” Just the News previously reported citing the bank records obtained by the committee.
The Facts Inside Our Reporter's Notebook
- galleries range from Berlin to New York
- set to hold a markup
- released highlights
- more than $5 million
- told The Independent
- an open letter
- FBI had verified the authenticity
- Hunter Biden organized two dinners
- told the FBI
- appeared for a speech outside the U.S. Capitol
- Just the News reported in December
- $40,000 check from James Biden
- citing the bank records