Elizabeth Hirsh Naftali was appointed by President Biden to the Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad in 2022.(Fox News)
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Hunter Biden learned of Hirsh Naftali’s identity and one other buyer because they were his friends, his counsel, Abbe Lowell, told Business Insider.
"The gallery sets the pricing and handles all sales based on the highest ethical standards of the industry and does not disclose the names of any purchasers to Mr. Biden," Lowell wrote.
The White House has repeatedly pledged that the buyers’ identities would remain unknown to both Hunter Biden and the Biden administration and that there would be no disclosure to the public.
"After careful consideration, a system has been established that allows for Hunter Biden to work in his profession within reasonable safeguards," then-White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on July 9, 2021. "Of course, he has the right to pursue an artistic career just like any child of a president has the right to pursue a career, but 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, of course, would be rejected out of hand."
"The gallerist will not share information about buyers or prospective buyers, including their identities, with Hunter Biden or the administration."
Former White House press secretary Jen Psaki(Reuters / Evelyn Hockstein / File)
Days later, Psaki defended Hunter Biden’s plans to attend gallery events with potential buyers of his art, saying the fact the buyers were remaining anonymous would prevent the appearance of any "undue influence" in the administration.
"He is attending gallery events that had been prior planned and announced," Psaki said during a daily press briefing. "That is different than meeting with prospective buyers."
"He's not going to have any conversations related to the selling of art," Psaki said on July 22, 2021. "That will be left to the gallerist, as was outlined in the agreement that we announced just a few weeks ago. We believe this is a reasonable system that has been established that allows for Hunter Biden to work in his profession within appropriate safeguards."
A reporter asked Psaki whether it would be "more transparent to just release the names of the buyers so that everyone would know who purchased this art and how much they paid."
"Well, we won't know who the buyers are," Psaki responded. "Hunter Biden won't know who the buyers are. So, I think the origin – I think of this line of questioning, which is understandable, is about whether this would provide a situation for undue influence. But we won't know who they are, so there's no scenario where they could provide influence."
Psaki reiterated the next day that Hunter Biden "will not be informed" of the identities of the buyers, saying, "He will not know, we will not know who purchases his art."
Psaki grew irritated when questioned on the topic again that October.
"Did you have another question on something else?" she snapped at a New York Post reporter. "Otherwise, we’re going to move on to some other topics. There’s a lot going on in the world."
Walter Shaub, who served as the ethics chief during the Obama administration, repeatedly blasted Hunter and the Biden administration in 2021 for what he perceived was an "absolutely appalling" art scheme.
"This is a guy who has clearly endeavored to make money off his dad being a politician rather than carving out his own path. And the only thing you have to do to understand that is go find the New Yorker article written by Adam Entous, who was very sympathetic of him in many ways but also honestly reported things like him just accepting a gigantic diamond from a foreign businessman who had interests before the United States government," Shaub said on Law & Crime’s "Objections" podcast.
"Just as hotel charges and real estate purchases created a risk of unknown parties funneling money to the Trump family for potentially unsavory purposes, Hunter Biden's grotesquely inflated art prices create a similar risk of influence-seekers funneling money to the Biden family," Shaub said in a June 2021 statement to Fox News Digital.
Shaub added that Biden and his art dealer, Georges Berges, "should disclose the identity of the purchasers" so the public can see if the buyers try to "gain access to [the] government."
Hirsh Naftali has visited the White House at least 13 times during the Biden administration between 2021 and 2023, according to the most up-to-date White House visitor logs reviewed by Fox News Digital.
Most of the visits appear to be bigger events hosted at the White House. However, a few of the visits show one-on-one meetings with White House aides.
Visitor logs show Hirsh Naftali met with policy adviser Richard Figueroa on Dec. 14, 2021, and Sept. 14, 2022. Another listing in the visitor logs shows her and a few others meeting with Alana Mounce, currently a special assistant to President Biden. The most recent visit was March this year in a one-on-one meeting with Neera Tanden, who was recently appointed Biden's chief domestic policy adviser.
Hirsh Naftali is a prominent Democrat donor who gave more than $200,000 to the Biden Victory Fund during the 2020 election cycle and more than $30,000 to the Democratic National Committee this year. She is also a maxed-out donor to the Biden campaign with two $3,300 donations in April.
In addition to Hirsh Naftali, Hunter's so-called "sugar brother" lawyer and confidante Kevin Morris also reportedly bought art from Hunter, Business Insider reported, citing three sources familiar with Hunter's account. The Malibu-based multimillionaire has made headlines in recent months for his generosity toward Hunter, including lavish financial support, help writing a book and lending a private jet to fly to and from an Arkansas courthouse for his May child support hearing.
Last week, Morris made headlines after he was spotted smoking from a bong on the balcony of his Malibu home during Hunter's visit to his home. Hunter was not on the balcony when Morris was seen smoking from the bong.
Fox News Digital reported in January that Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, sent a letter to Hunter Biden’s art dealer, Berges, demanding that he turn over all communications between his gallery and the White House in relation to a reported deal to withhold all records of the prices and final buyers for Biden's art.
Georges Berges (Jimi Celeste / Patrick McMullan via Getty Images / File)
Berges defended Hunter Biden in a statement to Fox News Digital at the time, saying the embattled first son has a "personal narrative" to tell through his art.
"I represent Hunter Biden because I feel that not only his art merits my representation, but because his personal narrative, which gives birth to his art, is very much needed in the world," Berges said.
"Hunter Biden will become one of the most consequential artists in this century because the world needs his art now more than ever," he added. "In a world that beats us down, we need art in our lives that reminds of the unrelenting divinity within each of us."
The White House, Hunter Biden’s lawyer and Hirsh Naftali did not respond to Fox News Digital’s requests for comment.