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Democratic donor who bought Hunter Biden's artwork given cushy appointment: Report
Kris Connor/WireImage

Democratic donor who bought Hunter Biden's artwork given cushy appointment: Report

President Joe Biden announced last July that he had appointed Elizabeth Hirsh Naftali to the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad.

The announcement made no mention of how Naftali, an affluent Los Angeles real estate mogul, was also a big-time Democratic donor who had taken an interest in Hunter Biden's amateur artwork — which had gone on sale roughly eight months prior.

According to a Business Insider report, Naftali bought at least one of Hunter Biden's paintings.

Neither the White House nor lawyers for Hunter Biden — who has no formal training as an artist — provided Business Insider with an answer as to whether the purchase took place before or after the president provided Naftali with the prized position.

A Biden administration official did, however, tell the publication that Naftali's philanthropic work with Jewish causes in Israel and Los Angeles, among other reasons, warranted her nomination.

This position was previously granted to Hunter Biden's business associate Eric Schwerin, who appears also to have been privy to Hunter Biden's dealings with the corrupt Ukrainian energy company Burisma.

An email on Hunter Biden's abandoned laptop reportedly indicated that the first son may have been trafficking in plum posts. Hunter Biden wrote to a cousin who was keen on a similar position for his mother, "Eric asked me for one of these the day after the election in 2008."

Bruce Weinstein, a professional ethicist and ethics trainer, told Business Insider, "If it was done after her appointment, and she likes the painting, it's less of an issue. ... It's more of an issue if she's deciding to buy it beforehand. Then it might be perceived as a quid pro quo."

The House Oversight Committee suggested on Twitter that this may have been "another pay-to-play scheme."

Naftali, allegedly recommended to Biden for the position by former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), donated over $13,000 to the 2024 Biden campaign and another $36,600 to the Democratic National Committee this year, reported the New York Post.

Additionally, Naftali has attended multiple Biden events and enjoyed a one-on-one meeting with senior Biden adviser Neera Tanden on March 21, reported the Washington Free Beacon.

While the timing of her alleged purchase remains unclear, the revelation has revived ethics concerns over the boundaries between Biden family gains and White House dealings.

Hunter Biden has reportedly pulled in well over $1.3 million from his novice artwork, including $875,000 from a single unnamed buyer who snatched up 11 of his works.

TheBlaze previously detailed how the first son had sold at least five of his works in late 2021 at the Georges Bergès Gallery in Los Angeles for $75,000 each.

Single pieces of Hunter Biden's art have gone for as much as $500,000.

At the time, former CBS News Radio reporter Steven Portnoy pressed then-White House press secretary Jen Psaki about possible ethical breaches, stating, "The ethicists who have pointed to this arrangement have expressed concern that the President's son selling art could potentially put the president in a situation where those who seek jobs either in this administration or favors from this administration could put this White House in an awkward position. ... Should we expect to see more people who seek jobs in this administration attending events like this in the future?"

Psaki suggested the White House had been "very transparent."

The New York Times reported ahead of Hunter Biden's premier art show that the White House had developed a "system" for Hunter Biden to sell his artworks without knowing who bought them.

The fear of the information coming out would be that the buyers could be rewarded.

White House spokesman Andrew Bates said in a 2021 statement, "The president has established the highest ethical standards of any administration in American history, and his family’s commitment to rigorous processes like this is a prime example."

Virginia Canter, former White House ethics counsel to President Barack Obama and chief ethics counsel for Citizens for Ethics, told the Times, "I guess they want to manage the conflict, but the problem will be enforcement. Unless you have the purchaser sign nondisclosure agreements, this information would come out."

In the wake of Naftali's unmasking as a proud owner of a Biden, White House spokesman Ian Sams told Business Insider, "Hunter Biden is a private citizen who is entitled to have his own career as an artist. ... We are not involved in his art sales, and any buyers of his art are not disclosed to the White House."

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Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.
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