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President Biden owes the public an explanation of the plan for Hunter Biden’s secret art sales, because Congress isn’t getting any answers. This summer a New York gallerist, Georges Bergès, said he would hold two private exhibitions, starting in September, to market Hunter’s paintings for between $75,000 and $500,000 each.
Mr. Bergès will soon receive a second letter from Rep. James Comer, the top Republican on the House Oversight Committee, who wants to see the ethics rules worked out by the White House. Buyers of the artwork are supposed to be kept confidential, even from Hunter. “We won’t know who they are,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said, “so there’s no scenario where they could provide influence.”
The gallery is also supposed to reject abnormal bids. “In other words,” Mr. Comer’s new letter to Mr. Bergès says, “you will be the only person responsible for rooting out potential sophisticated, foreign disruptive agents’ access to the White House. That is unacceptable.”
As part of Congress’s oversight, Mr. Comer is seeking copies of “the ethics guidelines, created in conjunction with the White House,” as well as “documents and communications pertaining to setting the prices for Mr. Biden’s art.”
He also wants to know who’s buying paintings and attending the showings, if and when they happen. But the odds of a reply are low, since the GOP lacks subpoena power. Mr. Comer made similar requests in a Sept. 7 letter, which went unanswered.
Democrats don’t appear eager to poke into Hunter’s secret art sales. Yet the questions aren’t idle. Who might be quietly preparing $500,000 for Hunter’s bank account? How is the gallery scrutinizing bids? Will the anonymity be kept? What if Russia starts spreading disinformation about who bought what, and for how much?
If President Biden continues to refuse calls for transparency, then the earliest opportunity for a full accounting might be in 2023, which is assuming Republicans take the House back. That provides plenty of time for mischief.
On an art podcast in July, Hunter was asked to respond to critics who are “coming after the prices of the work.” His reply was pithy and entirely in character: “Other than f— ’em?”
Mr. Biden owes the public more, but then Hunter always seems to get a pass from his Dad the President.