What the White House has maintained publicly about Hunter Biden’s “art” sales is very different from the real story, according to gallerist and art dealer Georges Berges’ transcribed interview before the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees last week. I know this is going to shock you, but --- are you sitting down? --- it appears the White House lied about this.
John Solomon at JUST THE NEWS has the update, but here’s what we already knew:
There apparently was no “ethics agreement” that Berges ever saw, no system to make sure Hunter and the first family never knew who his high-dollar buyers were, as White House spokesperson Jen Psaki had maintained there was.
According to Berges, Hunter knew who the buyers were for 70 percent of his “art.”
Hunter netted about $900,000 from the sales, in a period spanning more than two years.
The buyers were mostly Democrat donors, one of whom, Elizabeth Naftali, received a prestigious commission appointment. She has said she bought one painting before her appointment and the other one after. The most high-volume buyer of all was “sugar brother” Kevin Morris, whom Hunter had met not long before at a donor event. In addition to being a wealthy Hollywood attorney and producer with millions to spend on Hunter, he also happened to be an art collector --- who knew?
Morris had an unusual agreement with the dealer in which he personally paid Berges’ 40 percent commission on the sales. As we’ve previously noted, that should have been the tip-off to Berges that something wasn’t quite kosher.
All that was bad enough, but now that Solomon has seen the full transcript of Berges’ interview, there’s more to this story:
Berges told the congressional committees that President Biden both called and met him at the White House during the time he was representing Hunter’s “art” to potential buyers. Also, Hunter requested that he be informed of who the buyers were, negating even the idea of an ethics agreement.
“I believe in the first contract, he [Hunter] was able to know who the buyers were,” he told them. That was in 2020. “I don’t know how it was phrased or --- but I remember that there --- that that was the difference.” When asked if that was the normal kind of agreement, he said, “That part was different. Normally, the gallerist does not let the artist know who the collectors are.” In fact, when asked how many of the other artists he represents now (totaling 15) wanted to know the identity of purchasers, Berges said none of them. About a year later, Berges said, in a subsequent deal, they did change the agreement to say that Hunter was not to be told.
But the most interesting part is that President Biden himself was making contact with Berges.
When asked by a House investigator if he’d had contact with the President, he said he had.
“Okay. And was that in person or on the phone or both?” the investigator asked.
“Both,” Berges answered.
When asked when and where the in-person meeting was, Berges said, “At the White House, during Hunter’s --- Hunter’s daughter getting married.”
The phone call was placed by the President to Berges, ostensibly to (yes, we know this sounds strange) congratulate Berges’ daughter for finishing camp.
The President has repeatedly denied having contact with any of Hunter’s business associates, though testimony from former business partner Devon Archer wildly contradicts those denials. Obviously, Joe Biden spoke with Berges on at least those two occasions. Yet according to Berges, the subject of the “ethics” agreement never came up in conversation, with Joe or anyone else at the White House. From Berges’ interview transcript:
Investigator: “When you’re seeing in the press that the White House is putting in certain safeguards regarding an ethics agreement but you’ve had no conversations with the White House, I mean, did you ever say to Hunter Biden, ‘Hey, where’s this coming from?”
Berges: “I might have. I probably did, yeah.”
I: “And do you remember what he said to you?”
B: “I don’t --- I do remember being surprised.”
I: “Why were you surprised?”
B: Because I hadn’t had any communication with the White House about an agreement.”
Oh, and one other detail. If you were wondering how Hunter made the connection with Berges to represent his “art” in the first place, that was made through Lanette Phillips, who is (surprise) a Joe Biden fundraiser. Hunter made his first sale in December 2020, shortly before his father would take office.
In related news, Berges also told the committees that he’s decided not to renew his contract with Hunter, despite making $1.5 million in sales of Hunter’s “art” to 10 people.
Working with Hunter “hasn’t been the best decision for me,” he said. “I never expected the whole security issue or the death threats and people assuming political affiliation, which was completely wrong. It was a little bit more than I could chew...obviously, I kind of wanted my life back. So I haven’t agreed to renew that contract now.”
It’s sad to see that some on the political fringes may have dealt unfairly with Mr. Berges and even threatened violence against him. It seems he understandably regrets getting involved with the Bidens and would like to stay as far away from politics as he can. Let’s wish him the best in that endeavor.
Hunter’s felony gun case just got more serious as well, with the breaking news that his lie about drug use on an official gun purchase form is backed up not just by what he wrote in his book BEAUTIFUL THINGS but by actual cocaine residue on the brown leather pouch in which he kept the gun. That gun has been held as evidence since 2018, and the white powder, according to a court filing, could still clearly be seen when the gun was examined again in 2023, when the residue was finally tested. So the feds have had this evidence for five years, and we’re just now hearing about it.
It came out in court yesterday because Hunter, in his allegation of selective prosecution (not kidding), tried to say there was no proof he’d actually had a drug problem. Surprise!
Here are the amusing details. It’ll be interesting to see if Hunter’s attorney Abbe Lowell re-thinks his aggressive courtroom strategy, as it doesn’t seem to be working well with this client.
FOX NEWS has more on the indictment itself.
Finally, in a quick update on the still-possible contempt of Congress charge --- though Hunter says he’ll comply after all, given a new subpoena --- the House Rules Committee has paused consideration of that charge while a new closed-door deposition date is negotiated.
As House Oversight Chairman James Comer said on Tuesday’s HANNITY, “I think what’s happened over the last few days is, Abbe Lowell has realized that we have won. We are in a position to win in court...We have done everything by the book...So now, Abbe Lowell’s come back, basically begging, and offering for Hunter Biden to be deposed without any condition.”
“...This is about Joe Biden,” he continued. “Hunter Biden’s a key witness in the investigation. We believe that at the end of the day, if we make every effort to bring Hunter Biden in, that will help solidify the final report that we’re gonna issue to the American people.” And if the interview falls through, Hunter WILL be held in contempt.
Hunter Epilogue: If you’re (understandably) suffering from Hunter News Overload, at least read this headline. Then fall to the floor, laughing helplessly.