KEY POINTS

  • Under an agreement, a New York gallery owner will be responsible for setting the price for Hunter’s artwork
  • Hunter Biden's artworks could be priced between $75,000 and $500,000
  • White House press secretary Jen Psaki says keeping buyers anonymous would prevent improprieties

An ethics chief for former President Barack Obama has slammed Hunter Biden’s anonymous art sale arrangement as the “perfect mechanism for funneling bribes.”

In a lengthy tweet, former ethics chief Walter Shaub slammed an arrangement brokered by White House officials under which the identities of buyers who purchase the first son’s artworks would not be disclosed to the public or Hunter himself. 

“So instead of disclosing who is paying outrageous sums for Hunter Biden’s artwork so that we could monitor whether the purchasers are gaining access to the government, the WH tried to make sure we will never know who they are,” Shaub wrote. “That’s very disappointing.”

The ethics chief stated that the White House should have encouraged President Joe Biden to stop Hunter from selling highly-priced products or have the names of the buyers made public. 

"Even if you happen to trust Joe Biden, what if the next president has the character of a Donald Trump? This would be a perfect mechanism for funneling bribes to that president,” Shaub said, according to Fox News

Under the agreement, Georges Berges, a New York gallery owner, will be responsible for setting the price for Hunter’s artwork, which could be listed between $75,000 to $500,000, as well as manage the records of any potential bidder and final buyer, two officials familiar with the discussions told The Washington Post.

Berges will also be given the authority to reject any offer he believes are “out of the normal course,” according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, as reported by the Associated Press.

“After careful consideration, a system has been established that allows for Hunter Biden to work in his profession within reasonable safeguards,” Psaki said, adding: “Of course he has the right to pursue an artistic career, just like any child of a president has the right to pursue a career.” 

Psaki also noted that keeping potential bidders and final buyers anonymous would prevent any improprieties.

"I think it would be challenging for an anonymous person who we don't know and Hunter Biden doesn't know to have influence,” she added.

Hunter, 51, is expected to sell his paintings in upcoming exhibitions in Los Angeles and New York. 

Then vice-president Joe Biden and sons Hunter Biden (L) and Beau Biden after Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration Then vice-president Joe Biden and sons Hunter Biden (L) and Beau Biden after Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / DAVID MCNEW