- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 21, 2021

Attorney General Merrick Garland deflected a lawmaker’s request Thursday to appoint a special counsel to investigate the high-priced art sales of presidential son Hunter Biden, saying only that he would take the question “under advisement.”

“I’m not able to discuss any investigations, pending or otherwise, with respect to any citizen of the United States,” Mr. Garland told Rep. Ken Buck, Colorado Republican, at a House Judiciary Committee hearing.

Mr. Buck opened his line of questioning about Hunter Biden by displaying on an easel a painting by impressionist Claude Monet, on sale at Christie’s auction house for $700,000.

Squinting at the witness table, the attorney general said, “I’m sorry, I can’t read any of the words.”

“You don’t need to — you just need to look at this great painting,” Mr. Buck said.

“Very beautiful,” the attorney general said.

Mr. Buck then showed Mr. Garland a painting by Edgar Degas, which sold for $500,000. Then the lawmaker showed a third painting, a colorful splotch, which drew laughter in the hearing room.

“The third painting — you may recognize this name — is a Hunter Biden,” Mr. Buck told the attorney general. “The Hunter Biden painting sold for $500,000 also.”

Mr. Buck said that in 2019, President Biden’s son “couldn’t find a gallery to list his art.”

“And what happened in 2020 that changed all that is his dad became president of the United States,” Mr. Buck said. “Now a single piece of art from Hunter Biden sells for more than the average American home. By the way, Mr. Attorney General, this is the same Hunter Biden who’s being investigated by your department and the IRS for tax fraud.”

Launching into Hunter Biden’s checkered history of sweetheart deals, Mr. Buck told the attorney general, “Selling fakes, or selling or having a fake skill set, is nothing new to Hunter Biden.

“When his dad was vice president, Hunter Biden received $50,000 a month from a Ukrainian oligarch to sit on a board of an energy company. What was Hunter Biden’s background in energy? Nada,” Mr. Buck said. 

He also pointed to Hunter Biden becoming “a private equity guru” with a Chinese firm linked to China’s central bank when the elder Biden was vice president.

“With his dubious track record, inquiring minds might question why any art gallery would want to sell Hunter Biden’s art,” Mr. Buck said, adding that the Georges Berges Gallery in New York “had its COVID relief alone more than doubled by the Biden administration” to a total of $80,000.

“In a survey of more than 100 art galleries in New York’s 10th Congressional District, this particular art gallery received by far the largest SBA disaster loan [$500,000],” Mr. Buck said. He also noted that the district is represented by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat who sat silently during the presentation in the hearing.

Mr. Buck asked, “Mr. Attorney General, who buys Hunter Biden’s art? What benefits do they receive from the Biden administration? The American people want to know.”

The lawmaker said he’d sent a letter to Mr. Garland requesting that he appoint a special counsel.

“Now, will you appoint a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden?” he said.

Mr. Garland replied, “Apparently I just received the letter today from you, and we’ll be taking it under advisement, but I wasn’t aware that you had sent me a letter.”

The White House has said buyers of Hunter Biden’s art will remain anonymous, limiting the possibilities of wealthy buyers trying to gain influence with the administration. Ethics specialists have panned the arrangement.

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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