Obama ethics chief blasts Hunter Biden's art scheme as 'absolutely appalling'
Hunter Biden's art sales spark controversy due to a proposed $500,000 price tag.
Former President Obama's ethics chief on Wednesday ripped the Biden White House for brokering a deal last month so that Hunter Biden, and the American public at large, would never know who was buying his paintings.
Walter Shaub appeared on Law & Crime’s "Objections" podcast, where he did not mince words about how he felt about the behavior of the White House, President Biden, and his son, Hunter, regarding his upcoming art shows in Los Angeles and New York City. Hunter's paintings are priced between $75,000 and $500,000, despite his lack of artistic experience.
"There is simply no way an artist who has never even juried into a community center art fair is going to suddenly show up in New York selling art for half a million a pop," Shaub said. "Let's talk about the magnitude of this...That’s $6.5 million going to the president’s son for being the president’s son, not for being an artist and I just think that’s absolutely appalling."
While Shaub called Hunter Biden a "sympathetic character," he said that "some of his problems are of his own making," specifically pointing to his repeated attempts of building his career around "being Joe Biden’s son."
"If he were a patriot—if he cared about this country—he would not want to tarnish his father’s reputation that way. Now we can’t fault him for not being a patriot. We can’t fault him for not caring enough about his father’s legacy to avoid this," Shaub continued. "That’s a personal failing and he doesn’t technically owe us anything because he’s a citizen and not a government official, but then the White House crossed the line and they got involved in this deal and the art seller was theoretically always planning to keep the names secret, but the White House intervened to ask him to keep the names secret."
He later expressed his disgust about the White House "getting involved" with the art sale agreement, saying it's the "public's problem" now.
It was reported by The Washington Post in early July that the White House and the Georges Bergès Gallery, which is representing Hunter Biden's paintings, came to an agreement stipulating that he would not be privy to who is buying his artwork in order to avoid ethical pitfalls. Shaub responded to the initial report by saying the Biden administration is trying to "make sure we will never know" who the buyers are.
Later in the podcast, Shaub eviscerated Hunter Biden for his "career choices" and said he has "clearly endeavored to make money off his dad being a politician."
"The other prong of his history is that he's not an angel. This is a guy who—and I'm not talking about his personal problems. I'm talking about his career choices. This is a guy who has clearly endeavored to make money off his dad being a politician rather than carving out his own path and the only thing you have to do to understand that is go find The New Yorker article written by Adam Entous who was very sympathetic of him in many ways, but also honestly reported things like him just accepting a gigantic diamond from a foreign businessman who had interests before the United States government."
Hunter Biden responded to critics of his art dealings in late July on the art podcast Nota Bene, saying, "F--- 'em."
"I never said what my art was going to cost or how much it would be priced at," Biden told hosts Nate Freeman and Benjamin Godsill. "I'd be amazed if my art had sold for $10, just because the first time you ever go about it is the idea someone is attracted to your art, let alone that they would pay something for it."
White House press secretary Jen Psaki previously defended the White House's arrangement with the Georges Bergès Gallery, saying, "I think it would be challenging for an anonymous person who we don’t know and Hunter Biden doesn’t know to have influence."
The White House did not respond to Fox News' request for comment.
Fox News' Houston Keene contributed to this report.