US Republicans probe art sales by Biden’s son

WASHINGTON (AFP): The matter of who buys artwork produced by Joe Biden’s son, a former lawyer with a troubled past, is taking center stage on Capitol Hill — where Republicans have vowed to use their new House majority to aggressively investigate the president’s family.

The chairman of the powerful House Oversight Committee on Wednesday demanded a New York art gallery produce a list of who has bought artwork made by Hunter Biden.

“Your arrangement with Hunter Biden raises serious ethics concerns and calls into question whether the Biden family is again selling access and influence,” Republican James Comer of Kentucky said in his letter.

Comer requested the gallery’s owner, Georges Berges, testify before his committee next month.

Hunter Biden is a favorite target of Republicans, particularly over his prior work with foreign firms.

He is the president’s second of four children, though his older brother died of cancer in 2015, and he has publicly discussed struggles with addiction.

The Republicans suggest that wealthy influence seekers may buy Hunter Biden’s artwork with the aim of winning favor at the White House.

According to Comer, some of the paintings exhibited by the New York gallery have price tags up to $225,000.

“Why would anyone pay Hunter Biden top dollar for artwork that is arguably worthless? He’s no Pablo Picasso,” Comer tweeted Wednesday.

The gallery, which recently promoted Hunter Biden’s paintings on social media, did not provide a comment immediately to an AFP request.

The Biden administration, which presents itself as an ethical antithesis to predecessor Donald Trump, has faced questions about Hunter Biden’s business dealings, especially during his father’s tenure as vice president (2009-2017).