President Biden’s Press Secretary Jen Psaki tried to bat away more questions about Hunter Biden’s art sales on Tuesday as she insisted the White House did not know the identity of any buyers of his prints.
She was forced to respond after it emerged that the president’s son has sold at least five prints of his artwork for $75,000 each.
The high prices have led to questions about whether buyers might believe they are buying presidential favor.
It was raised again on Tuesday when she was asked if the White House knew the identity of the buyers and whether lawyers were now scrutinizing who would be allowed into gallery showings.
‘I know this is your favourite topic,’ said Psaki when asked, ‘but again it still is the purview of the gallerist.’
‘We still do not know, and will not know who purchases any paintings.
‘And the president remains proud of his son.’
Jen Psaki said questions about who bought Hunter Biden’s artworks fell under the ‘purview’ of the gallerist responsible for selling them and that the White House did not know their identities
Hunter Biden’s ‘Bluebird and Coyote’ hangs at the Georges Berges Gallery in Los Angeles
Hunter Biden sold five prints for $75,000 each according to the New York Post
The White House has repeatedly said that the administration will be shielded from knowing purchasers’ identities in order to prevent any perceptions of a conflict of interest.
And Psaki has frequently punted questions to the gallerist selling the art.
The latest round of questions came after the prints were sold from Georges Berges Gallery in Los Angeles before the Oct. 1 opening of an exhibition.
It is unclear which reproductions were sold or if any other works were sold once the LA show opened.
However, a source familiar with the sale told the New York Post that ‘most of those allowed to buy works are long-term, private collectors with the gallery, people that Berges knows personally’.
The sales come as Biden remains under scrutiny over the ethics of his art dealings.
Video and photos exclusively obtained by DailyMail.com show Biden and his gallery manager Georges Berges entertaining around 200 people at the famous Milk studios in Hollywood on Friday, including his wife Melissa and two of his daughters, 27-year-old Naomi Biden and Maisy Biden, 20.
Around 200 invites for the tightly-policed event went to a host of Los Angeles glitterati and potential buyers of Hunter’s art, the prices for which range between $75,000 and $500,000.
Potential buyers and celebrity guests who attended the event included World Champion boxer Sugar Ray Leonard, Moby, Garcetti and the artist behind Barack Obama’s iconic Hope poster
Former chief White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter claims Biden’s attendance at the show ‘illustrates how this veil-of-secrecy idea is not happening’.
He claims the White House’s attempt at keeping buyers anonymous is not effective.
‘It shows the deal’s not going to be secret,’ Painter said of the show.
‘I think the White House needs to go to Plan B.’
Painter continued: ‘[Buyers] tend to be rich people, and rich people come to their houses and it tends to get around.
‘Everyone’s going to be talking about it and everyone’s going to know.’
Hunter Biden (pictured with ex-Stockton mayor Michael Tubbs) sold at least five prints of his artwork for $75,000 each at his Los Angeles pop-up show
He argues that the best way to prevent people from ‘gaining leverage’ over the White House by purchasing Biden’s artwork is to prevent sales of the work until his father, President Joe Biden, leaves office.
Painter also advocated for ‘full transparency’ of buyers’ identities and thinks the president and his appointees should ‘all sign recusal pledges to ensure these people can’t get access to the White House’.
‘We did that in the Bush White House,’ he told the news outlet.
‘If people tried to contact the government who were business partners of the Bushes, we made sure they contacted people who weren’t political appointees.’
Meanwhile, sources say lawyers are vetting individuals who want to view Biden’s paintings at Berges’ Manhattan gallery.
‘It is a whole process to get in to see the Biden show. You have to call the gallery in Soho, and they are vetting people carefully,’ the source told the Post.
‘They laid down rules that thorough vetting of any collector has to be done by a team of lawyers.’
Officials have not revealed who hired the lawyers or the purpose behind the legal vetting.
The New York City show – which was originally slated to open this month – has been moved to the spring. The LA show is reportedly continuing until November.
It remains unclear why the gallery opening was delayed.