Art dealer told Congress that Joe Biden called and met him while he sold Hunter Biden’s paintings

George Berges also says first son made unusual request to know the identity of buyers, undercutting White House's narrative.

Published: January 16, 2024 5:59am

The art dealer who sold Hunter Biden’s paintings told Congress that President Joe Biden both called and met him at the White House as he was pitching Hunter's artwork and that the first son also made an unusual request to be informed about who bought his pieces, according to testimony that directly undercuts the White House narrative on the sales.

The Biden White House repeatedly told the public that Hunter Biden’s art sales were covered by an ethics agreement to ensure they were arms-length and that the first family -- Hunter included -- was blinded to the identity of buyers.

But George Berges, owner of the prestigious Berges art galleries based in New York and Berlin that sold Hunter Biden’s painting from 2020 to 2023, told congressional impeachment investigators that the first son likely knew the identity of 70% of the buyers – the largest who were Democrat donors – and that Hunter Biden’s first contract made an unusual request when the relationship started.

“I believe in the first contract, he was—he was able to know who the buyers were,” Berges told investigators for the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees in a transcribed interview last week that was reviewed by Just the News. “…I don’t know how it was phrased or—but I remember that there—that that was the difference.”

“Is that normal or unusual, or where’s that? Is it a normal kind of contract?” Berges was asked. 

“That part was different. Normally, the gallerist does not let the artist know who the collectors are,” the art dealer answered.

Berges said a subsequent art sale deal with the first son dropped the requirement for Hunter Biden to be informed. “The first one was that I was required to disclose who the buyers were. In the second one, I was required to not disclose the buyers,” he explained.

Berges was also asked how many of the 15 artists he represents now – except for Hunter Biden – wanted to know the identity of purchasers. “None,” he answered.

Berges also revealed that he no longer represents Hunter Biden for art sales, saying the commercial relationship ended last fall. “I haven't represented him for four months now, and I think that also says something,” Berges said. “And I still talk to him as a friend.” Hunter Biden is still listed on Berges' website.

Not only did Hunter Biden know many of the buyers, Joe Biden apparently knew about the gallery selling Hunter Biden’s art and had two contacts with Berges, according to the testimony.

“Have you spoken to President Biden?” a House investigator asked at one point.
“Yes,” Berges answered.

“Okay. And was that in person or on the phone or both?” the investigator pressed.
“Both,” he answered.

“Can you tell me about the in-person meeting, where that was, when that was?” the questioner inquired. “At the White House wedding during Hunter's - Hunter's daughter getting married,” the art dealer explained.

“Okay. And then on the phone?” the congressional investigator asked.

“My daughter finished camp and he called to, you know, wish her, congratulate her for finishing camp and I answered the phone,” he said.

Berges’ account mirrors that of an earlier Hunter Biden business partner, Devon Archer, who gave explosive testimony to Congress last summer revealing that Joe Biden as vice president got on about two dozen calls with his son’s foreign business associates and had at least two dinners with them. The president had denied any contact with Hunter Biden associates.

Berges’ testimony also confirmed earlier reporting by Just the News, including that:

  • Hollywood superlawyer and Democrat donor Kevin Morris bought some of Hunter Biden’s art work: Berges put the total at at least $875,000;
  • Democrat donor Elizbeth Naftali, who Joe Biden appointed to a federal commission, bought art work as well. Berges said she bought bought one painting before her federal appointment and one after her appointment;
  • Joe Biden fundraiser Lanette Phillips made the connection between Hunter Biden and Berges that led to the art sales deal;
  • Berges sold his first piece of art for the first son in December 2020, just before Joe Biden took office; and
  • Berges had two art sales agreements with Hunter Biden, one in 2020 and another about a year later.

But the art dealer’s most consequential testimony for the impeachment proceeding involved Joe Biden and his White House. Berges said in addition to meeting and talking with the president while helping Hunter Biden, he had never had any contact with the White House over the supposed ethics agreement.

“When you’re seeing in the press that the White House is putting in certain safeguards regarding an ethics agreement but you’ve had no conversations with [the] White House, I mean, did you ever say to Hunter Biden, ‘Hey, where’s this coming from?’” a congressional investigator asked. “I might have. I probably did, yeah,” Berges said.

“And do you remember what he said to you?" the investigator continued. “I don’t . . . . I do remember being surprised,” Berges explained.

“Why were you surprised?” he was asked. “Because I hadn’t had any communication with the White House about an agreement,” Berges answered.

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