Hunter Biden is dabbling in art and potential hidden, big-dollar purchases of his paintings have people concerned it could be a sneaky way to grift pay-for-play schemes off his family name, particularly from undisclosed foreign buyers.
In fact, the "elegant bribery" of subjective artwork is a "widespread" practice in China, according to The New York Times.
"This is clearly a way for [Hunter Biden] to earn money, a lot of money, without anybody knowing who's paying him," Government Integrity Project Director Tom Anderson told the Washington Free Beacon.
Art sales are notoriously confidential and art is famously subjective on value, so conceivably someone could be buying more than mere paint on canvas when making a big-dollar buy for one of Hunter Biden's pieces, critics warn.
"Legally, [President Joe Biden] doesn't have to disclose anything," Anderson told the Free Beacon. "But just for the office of the presidency, it's just the right thing to do to be transparent and to let everybody know who's paying for what.
"Why would you want to jeopardize everything the administration is trying to do with something like this?"
Pay-for-play schemes through art is an open secret as a way to bribe people in China, the Times reported during the Obama administration:
"The bribery of public officials with art is so widespread that the Chinese have coined a term to describe this kind of aesthetic corruption. They call it 'yahui' or 'elegant bribery.'"
The White House press office did not respond to Free Beacon's requests for comment, including whether foreign nationals will be vetted by the White House ethics office or permitted to buy Hunter Biden's art, and whether the buyers will be publicly disclosed.
Hunter Biden's art dealer Georges Berges vowed to keep the sales confidential to "protect the privacy" of the buyer, and the work is estimated to go between $75,000 to $500,000, Fox News reported last week.
That haul for a first-time artist is extremely rare in an industry known for having "starving artists."
Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.
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