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Obama Ethics Chief Turns on Own Party, Rips Biden Admin Over Hunter Biden Cash-Grab, Unanswered Questions

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The right has long been accusing now-President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden of engaging in criminal corruption and influence peddling, and these accusations have certainly not ceased since the former entered office as the nation’s 46th president.

So, it’s not particularly remarkable to see right-leaning outlets slam the notorious father and son now that Hunter Biden has entered the art world and is selling his amateur work for tens of thousands of dollars and we’re expected to believe that these price tags genuinely reflect the talent of the artist.

What is noteworthy, however, is that the former ethics chief to President Barack Obama is rebuking the White House in no uncertain terms for the appearance of wild impropriety — and for behaving as though the public has no right to know more.

Last week, White House press secretary Jen Psaki grew rather huffy when confronted by a New York Post reporter about the identity of prospective buyers of Hunter Biden’s artwork — which is, according to art critics, nothing short of entirely mediocre at best.

Biden launched his art career earlier this year about five minutes after supposedly kicking his longstanding crack cocaine addiction, with which he was still struggling while his father was running for president last year.

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The White House previously insisted that everything was kosher because, don’t worry, neither Hunter Biden nor any other member of the American public will actually know the identity of the buyers and the gallery owner will absolutely make sure it’s all on the up and up.

Psaki doubled down on this position when confronted by the Post last week following reports that Hunter Biden’s work garnered a total of $375,000 in sales at a Los Angeles art gallery earlier this month — with the paintings being sold at $75,000 a pop.

“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,” the press secretary stated.

When pushed, she interrupted the reporter, asking in her usual strained and sassy manner, “Did you have another question on something else? Otherwise, we’re going to move on to some other topics, there’s a lot going on in the world.”

Do you think Hunter's art career is suspicious?

I’m sorry, does the press secretary get to dictate what the members of the free media ought to ask her about during her briefings?

Absolutely not, as bluntly stated by Obama-era director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, Walter Shaub, in response.

“These are legitimate questions,” the former official wrote on Twitter at the beginning of a lengthy thread rebuking Psaki. “It’s disappointing to hear @jrpsaki send a message that the WH thinks the public has no right to ask about ethics. After the last 4 years, these questions have never been more important. I know this isn’t a popular opinion, but this stuff matters.”

“There is no ethics program in the world that can be built around the head of state’s staff working with a dealer to keep the public in the dark about the identities of individuals who pay vast sums to the leader’s family member for subjectively priced items of no intrinsic value,” he continued.

“If this were Trump, Xi or Putin, you’d have no doubt whatsoever that this creates a vehicle for funneling cash to the first family in exchange for access or favors. Nor would you doubt that the appearance of monetizing the presidency was outrageous,” he continued, referencing Presidents Xi Jinping of China and Vladimir Putin of Russia.

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“It doesn’t matter that Trump was worse,” Shaub, who often criticized former President Donald Trump, continued. “What matters is that this sets a low bar for ethics. It embraces the mentality that ‘if it’s legal, it’s fine to do.’ It creates doubt that the difference in administrations is one of nature instead of merely degree.”

“It’s all the worse because Biden ran as the antidote to Trump,” he said. “So the message is that this is not just better than Trump, which is far too low a standard, but that this is the opposite of Trump, which is even worse.”

And that’s exactly right. To vehement Trump critics like Shaub who dare to be consistent, nothing could be more sickeningly hypocritical on the part of the Biden administration than to brush off ethics concerns as though they’re unimportant to the American people.

Shaub had a similarly scathing take in July on the White House’s “absolutely appalling” decision to trust a Manhattan gallery owner to ensure the office of the presidency was safely guarded against any ethical concerns surrounding the first son’s art career.

“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,” Shaub tweeted at the time.

“The idea’s that even Hunter won’t know, but the WH has outsourced government ethics to a private art dealer,” he continued. “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.”

This had come in response to a report from The Washington Post detailing the incredibly shady arrangement.

“White House officials have helped craft an agreement under which purchases of Hunter Biden’s artwork — which could be listed at prices as high as $500,000 — will be kept confidential from even the artist himself, in an attempt to avoid ethical issues that could arise as a presidential family member tries to sell a product with a highly subjective value,” the newspaper reported.

“Under an arrangement negotiated in recent months, a New York gallery owner is planning to set prices for the art and will withhold all records, including potential bidders and final buyers. The owner, Georges Bergès, has also agreed to reject any offer that he deems suspicious or that comes in over the asking price, according to people familiar with the agreement,” it explained.

It was remarkable at the time that a former Obama administration official was so pointed in his criticism of the outrageously terrible arrangement, as it is today that he’s calling out Psaki for behaving as though it’s absurd for a reporter to press her on it now that Hunter’s artwork has brought in so much cold, hard cash from an art show.

This isn’t even as bad as it gets — the George Bergès Gallery in Manhattan, you know, the Manhattan gallery which the White House has trusted with ensuring Hunter’s art dealings stay legit — received a suspiciously massive federal loan for COVID-19 disaster relief that was approved in July, the same month in which the Post reported the gallery had reached an arrangement with the White House to keep the first son’s art buyers confidential.

Now, this could certainly be a big coincidence but boy, it sure doesn’t look good all things considered.

We don’t need Obama’s former ethics chief to tell us that all of this stinks to high heavens, but it certainly is remarkable that a member of that ethically dubious administration is speaking out in such distinct terms speaks volumes.

And he’s absolutely correct, too. It’s already insane on its face that the White House is so shamelessly insisting that keeping Hunter Biden’s art buyers confidential, as opposed to public and well-documented so there’s no question of ethical concerns, is a believable safeguard against influence peddling.

Especially when you consider that Hunter and dad have been accused of high-priced influence peddling for years.

Yet for Psaki to actually mock a reporter for pressing her on the dubious arrangement is outrageous and incredibly insulting to the American people as a whole.

When Trump was in office, we were routinely reminded that a free press was the ultimate safeguard against corruption in the upper echelons of our federal government and, for all their self-aggrandizing and terrible, wildly biased reporting on his presidency, they certainly weren’t wrong on this count.

Ours is a government of the people and by the people and it is beyond disgusting for the White House press secretary to tell a reporter that there are other things she should be asked about.

She should be asked about whatever the American people see fit to ask her about, especially when ethics concerns are so massive that they’re being called out by a member of the president’s own party and former administration.

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Isa grew up in San Francisco, where she was briefly a far-left socialist before finding Jesus and her husband in Hawaii. She now homeschools their two boys and freelances in the Ozarks.
Isa grew up in San Francisco, where she was briefly a far-left socialist before finding Jesus and her husband in Hawaii. She now homeschools their two boys and freelances in the Ozarks.




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