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Obama-era ethics chief calls out 'grifty' appearance of selling Hunter Biden art anonymously

"This smells like an attempt to cash in on a family connection to the White House," Shaub said.

Updated: June 21, 2021 - 7:33pm

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Former Obama-era Office of Government Ethics Director Walter Shaub is calling out the poor optics of President Biden's son Hunter Biden's art pieces selling for top dollar to anonymous purchasers. 

"The notion of a president's son capitalizing on that relationship by selling art at obviously inflated prices and keeping the public in the dark about who's funneling money to him has a shameful and grifty feel to it," Shaub told Fox News on Monday. "Just as hotel charges and real estate purchases created a risk of unknown parties funneling money to the Trump family for potentially unsavory purposes, Hunter Biden's grotesquely inflated art prices create a similar risk of influence-seekers funneling money to the Biden family," he said.

Art dealer Georges Berges has priced pieces by Hunter Biden between $75,000 and $500,000, according to Fox Business

"Pricing fine art in his experiences as a Gallerist is based on the demand of the work as well and the intrinsic value of it," an agency representing Berges told Fox Business. "His feeling is that within each piece – as with every artist, sales are always confidential to protect the privacy of the collector, this is standard practice for transactions in galleries as well as auction houses," The Townsend Group said.

Shaub believes that Biden and Berges, "should disclose the identity of the purchasers" so that people can know if purchasers attempt to "gain access to [the] government." 

Shaub said that the president's son "can't possibly think anyone is paying him based on the quality of the art. This smells like an attempt to cash in on a family connection to the White House."

"At a minimum, the president should be asking his son not to go through with this auction," Shaub said.