- A lawyer for art dealer Georges Berges suggested the House panel deal with the president’s son.
- Rep. James Comer, head of the Oversight panel, question who was buying Hunter Biden’s art.
WASHINGTON – A lawyer for Hunter Biden’s art dealer has replied to a House committee, which seeks information about sales of his paintings, suggesting lawmakers deal with the president’s son instead.
Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., chairman of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, asked New York art dealer Georges Berges for documents and testimony about who was buying Hunter Biden’s paintings and for how much. Comer voiced concerns the high prices could buy influence with the Biden administration.
But Berges’ lawyer, William Pittard, replied in a letter that ethical arrangements with the White House and a recent Supreme Court decision prevented him from providing the information Comer requested. Pittard suggested Comer pose his questions to Hunter Biden and his lawyer, Abbe Lowell, “to consider an appropriate path forward.”
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Comer’s request is one piece of wide-ranging House Republican investigations into the Biden administration that lawmakers argue were lacking in recent years. Comer has focused initially on Hunter Biden, through his laptop and his art, to investigate lucrative foreign business deals and art sales he said could potentially influence President Joe Biden.
The committee said in a statement Berges should produce the documents requested. “We find the objections unconvincing and incoherent,” the statement said.
Comer’s request for information about art sales is contentious because Hunter Biden doesn’t work for the government.
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Lowell has already replied to the committee that its request for information about foreign influence peddling was illegitimate for pursuing a private citizen and had no valid legislative function.
“Peddling your own inaccurate and baseless conclusions under the guise of a real investigation, turns the Committee into ‘Wonderland’ and you into the Queen of Hearts shouting, ‘sentence first, verdict afterwards,’” Lowell wrote in a four-page letter to Comer.
Pittard said Berges arranged to keep information about buyers of Hunter Biden’s art and the prices confidential, to avoid ethical concerns with his father.
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“In light of these considerations, providing the documents and information requested in your letter seemingly would defeat the efforts of Mr. Biden and the White House to avoid the ‘serious ethical concerns’ that you raise,” Pittard told Comer. “Mr. Berges hopes that you and Mr. Biden can resolve that tension.”
Pittard also cited a Supreme Court decision about demands from Comer’s panel and two others in the investigation of former President Donald Trump, in a case involving his longtime accounting firm, Mazars USA.
The high court ruled “transactions by the President and his family” exceeded the House’s authority, Pittard wrote. The high court also noted demands for personal papers might “aim to harass the President or render him complaisant to the humors of the Legislature,” Pittard wrote.
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