WASHINGTON — First son Hunter Biden’s Manhattan art dealer shared details Tuesday about purchasers of the first son’s novice works — while contradicting the White House’s claim that officials brokered an ethics arrangement to keep buyer identities anonymous to prevent corruption.
Georges Bergès said that Hunter, 53, actually knew who bought about 70% of his art — including Elizabeth Hirsh Naftali, whom the dealer revealed purchased works by the first son both before and after scoring a prestigious appointment from President Biden, a source told The Post.
Hirsh Naftali, who scored repeated visits to the White House during the timeframe in question, inked a $42,000 sale in February 2021, before her appointment that July by Joe Biden to the Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, and then another for $52,000 in December 2022.
Bergès also confirmed that the first son was aware that Hollywood loawyer Kevin Morris, who met Hunter at a political fundraiser in December 2019 before bankrolling his tax payments and living expenses, was his top patron, buying $875,000 worth of art in a January 2023 deal.
“The White House’s ‘ethics’ agreement regarding Hunter Biden’s art was a sham,” a source familiar with Bergès’ testimony said.
“The White House never facilitated any agreement, despite saying the opposite to the public. George Bergès stated he never had any communication with the White House about an agreement about Hunter Biden’s art and admitted Hunter Biden knew the identities of the individuals who purchased roughly 70% of the value of his art.”
The White House did not immediately offer comment on Bergès’ testimony, which is expected to continue through Tuesday afternoon.
It was not immediately clear if Bergès comprehensively provided buyer information after previously refusing to do so.
Berges also told committee members during the closed-door deposition that Hollywood producer Lanette Phillips, who has hosted fundraisers for the elder Biden, introduced Hunter to Bergès.
Hunter, who earned millions of dollars while his father was vice president in deals that are the focus of a House Republican-led impeachment inquiry, reportedly sold at least $1.3 million in art as of this past July, according to Business Insider.
The Post previously reported that Hunter sold five prints for $75,000 each — totaling $375,000 — at an October 2021 Hollywood art show that controversially was attended then-LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, President Biden’s then-nominee to be ambassador to India.
The existence of a supposed ethics arrangement through which Hunter Biden would remain in the dark about buyer information was first reported in July 2021 by the Washington Post and the framework was cited repeatedly by then-White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
The Washington Post, citing two Biden aides, wrote that “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.”
Psaki did not dispute the article at a briefing the following day when asked by a reporter, “Did the White House play any role in crafting the sales agreement with the New York gallery to protect the purchasers or the ultimate purchasers’ identity?”
The then-White House spokesperson replied that “a system has been established that allows for Hunter Biden to work in his profession within reasonable safeguards… All interactions regarding the selling of art and the setting of prices will be handled by a professional gallerist, adhering to the highest industry standards. And any offer out of the normal course would be rejected out of hand. And the gallerist will not share information about buyers or prospective buyers, including their identities, with Hunter Biden or the administration.
Weeks later, Psaki put some distance between the administration and the purported agreement.
“We have spoken extensively to the arrangements, which are not White House arrangements; they’re arrangements between Hunter Biden’s representatives and ones that we, certainly, were made aware of,” she said in August 2021.
Hirsh Naftali has denied that she purchased Hunter’s art to curry favor with his dad, saying in a November statement that “any insinuation that her purchase of art was unusual or somehow improper” was false.