Art dealer Hunter Biden refuses to give names to House Committee
Hunter Biden’s Manhattan art dealer is refusing to provide information about who bought the first son’s paintings to a congressional committee investigating the Biden family’s business dealings, The Post has learned.
In a Feb. 6 letter to Kentucky Representative James Comer, chairman of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, an attorney for art dealer Georges Berges expresses “concerns” about meeting the committee’s requests to see records about clients, who bought Hunter’s work.
Refusal to comply with a congressional subpoena is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and up to one year in prison.
The committee investigating President Biden’s international and domestic business dealings is scheduled to begin hearings on Wednesday.
The Post saw the letter from attorney William Pittard, who represents Berges and Georges Berges Galleries LLC. It is noted that providing information about the buyers would violate White House rules specifically set out for the sale of Hunter Biden’s artwork in 2021.
“Providing the documents and information requested in your letter would appear to negate efforts by Mr. Biden and the White House to avoid the ‘serious ethical concerns’ you have raised,” Pittard wrote, citing a July 2021 news conference, in then-press secretary Jen Psaki set the ground rules for selling the art.
Psaki noted that one of the “safeguards” was to maintain buyer confidentiality, “because if the White House did not know these buyers, it would be impossible for the administration to award buyers any favors based on the purchases,” notes Pittard.
“In light of these considerations, the provision of the requested documents and information is in
Your letter would appear to negate efforts by Mr. Biden and the White House to avoid the “serious ethical concerns” you have raised,” Pittard writes. “Mr. Bergès hopes that you and Mr. Biden can resolve this tension.”
The letter is in response to a January 25 request from the committee.
Berges’ attorney also points to a 2020 United States Supreme Court ruling that effectively barred three congressional committees — including the Committee on Oversight and Accountability — from “seeking documents involving ‘transactions by the President and his family ‘ reveal,” the letter reads.
That decision related to former President Donald Trump and his children and found that subpoenas from three congressional committees seeking information on family finances were too broad. In the same decision, the Supreme Court ruled that a New York grand jury could subpoena the former president’s tax returns and financial records.
Berges, who runs eponymous galleries in Soho and Berlin, has represented the 53-year-old Hunter for a number of years. The gallery has presented two solo exhibitions in 2021 and 2022 of artworks by the scandal-stricken former lawyer. The self-taught artist’s paintings were priced between $75,000 and $500,000.
The latest exhibition, titled “Haiku,” opened in December and featured a 57″ x 98″ untitled painting of a mustard yellow flower priced at $225,000. It is unclear whether it has found a buyer.
Hunter Biden, a former drug addict whose infamous laptop contains emails allegedly showing influence his father was involved in when he was vice president, was paid at least $375,000 for five prints to be displayed at a Hollywood art show in 2021 became.
Berges, who has in the past refused to reveal the identities of buyers of Hunter’s art, citing buyer nondisclosure agreements, declined to comment Tuesday.
A spokeswoman for the Committee on Oversight and Accountability did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
https://nypost.com/2023/02/07/hunter-biden-art-dealer-refuses-to-give-names-to-house-committee/ Art dealer Hunter Biden refuses to give names to House Committee