Obama’s ex-White House ethics chief calls Biden artwork arrangement ‘perfect mechanism for funneling bribes’
Walter Shaub criticizes the White House arrangement that allows Hunter Biden to sell his expensive artwork to anonymous buyers.
- Former Director of Office of Government Ethics Walter Shaub slammed the White House for allowing Hunter Biden to sell his artwork to secret buyers.
- According to Shaub, this would be the “perfect mechanism for funneling bribes.”
- Shaub also notes that young Biden might be “getting preferential treatment” using his father’s name to sell his expensive art.
Walter Shaub, former President Obama’s ethics chief, is slamming the White House for allowing Hunter Biden, Joe Biden’s son, to sell his artwork, providing no transparency for the public.
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 government, the WH tried to make sure we will never know who they are. That’s very disappointing. /1 https://t.co/4ToAJNwWg7
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) July 8, 2021
According to Shaub, selling the piece to anonymous buyers with no disclosure to the public is “very disappointing.” Moreover, as Fox News notes, the former ethics chief derided the deal as a “perfect mechanism for funneling bribes.”
To express his position on the subject, Shaub used his Twitter account, where he wrote a lengthy thread about the case. In the series of tweets, he said:
“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 government, the WH tried to make sure we will never know who they are. That’s very disappointing.”
Here's what needs to happen:
The administration needs to commit that it will immediately notify the public if:
(1) the name of any buyer is ever learned
(2) if any known buyer of this art has a meeting, phone call or email exchange with any administration appointee.
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) July 11, 2021
“The idea’s that even Hunter won’t know, but the WH has outsourced government ethics to a private art dealer. We’re supposed to trust a merchant in an industry that’s fertile ground for money laundering, as well as unknown buyers who could tell Hunter or WH officials? No thanks.”
The former ethics chief claims Hunter Biden’s art career has “just got the absolute appearance that he’s profiting off of his father’s fame.”
In a recent interview, Shaub said that young Biden is neither using a pseudonym nor is waiting for his father to step out of the White House until he launches his art career. Instead, Hunter Biden might be “getting preferential treatment.”
The ex-director of the Office of Government Ethics explained:
“The problem is, now they’ve set a precedent for the next president. 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.”
“You don't spend half a million dollars on the President's son's piece of art to keep that a secret," Walter Shaub, fmr. Director of the Office of Government Ethics, discusses the ethics concerns raised over Hunter Biden’s art deal. https://t.co/1IRn3f2tdF pic.twitter.com/K3tKumgpLG
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) July 12, 2021
Although Shaub says he did not personally believe that Biden would ever take a bribe, he insisted that a government ethics program can’t be built around “a subjective belief in an individual’s character.”
On Friday, July 9, the White House defended its decision to allow Hunter Biden to start a career as an artist. Press secretary Jen Psaki stated:
“After careful consideration, a system has been established that allows for Hunter Biden to work in his profession within reasonable safeguards. 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.”