As the country has witnessed over the past several years, no matter how egregious the scandal, President Joe Biden and his family are rarely criticized by members of the Democratic party.
According to the Daily Mail, Walter Shaub, who was the director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics (USOGE) under former President Barack Obama, slammed Hunter Biden and his intentions to sell his artwork for ridiculously high prices, claiming that such a stunt could open the gates for foreign “influence-seekers” to funnel money to the first family.
“He 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,” Shaub said during a Fox News interview.
“Shameful and grifty”
In rare form for a former high-level, Obama-era Democrat, Shaub held nothing back in the Fox News interview, insisting that Hunter Biden’s plan to sell his artwork at exorbitant prices at a New York gallery was “shameful and grifty.”
“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 said.
Shaub drew comparisons to the ethics behind various real estate transactions and hotel charges related to former President Donald Trump’s business empire that some claim could have led to the same types of influence-seeking individuals attempting to gain favor with high-level players with their purchases.
“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,” Shaub said.
Shaub went on to hammer the prospect of Hunter Biden having his works of art priced at tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands each, given his status a new, first-time artist, suggesting that it’s clearly only because of his father’s name that selling at such prices is a possibility.
The sales will be private
Not surprisingly, the sales of the president’s son’s art will allow the buyers to remain private, which draws increased scrutiny from people such as Shaub who are rightfully concerned about who would pay such prices.
Even more disturbing, according to the Daily Mail’s report, is that some reportedly believe sketchy players will buy Hunter Biden’s artwork as money laundering tools, in order to skirt existing financial sanctions.
Those concerns aren’t based on conspiracy, either, as they follow a report released by the U.S. Treasury Department last year in which the agency warned that foreign operatives could use high-priced art sales to conduct business in the U.S. when otherwise, sanctions would prevent such transactions.
“It makes perfect sense that a hedge fund manager with no art training who has never sold a piece would seek $500,000 for his doodles, and anyone who thinks the payoff’s based on his relation to POTUS is patently crazy. Why I sold macaroni art for more than that in nursery school,” Shaub tweeted on Monday.