Just weeks after President Donald Trump was acquitted in his Senate impeachment trial, one potential Republican witness has reinvented himself — and scored a flattering profile piece from the New York Times.
Hunter Biden, whose connection with Ukrainian gas company Burisma raised questions about former Vice President Joe Biden’s actions, topped many Republicans’ witness wish lists when it appeared that the president’s impeachment trial might go that particular route.
Biden, meanwhile, has reportedly been painting for years — but he told NYT’s Adam Popescu that it’s only recently that he has felt comfortable with the label “artist.”
Popescu’s piece reads like a profile of any new artist:
Dressed in Oxford boots, jeans and a long sleeve T-shirt, Hunter Biden ushered a reporter down a stone walkway, into a pool house-turned-art studio in the Hollywood Hills.
It was filled with colorful works of decorative abstraction — psychedelic florals and ethereal patterns that look like nature viewed through a microscope, leaning toward the surreal. There were nearly 100 of them, all by his own hand. Some were signed RH Biden, for Robert Hunter Biden, the 50-year-old son of the former vice president.
And while there were brief mentions of Biden’s questionable overseas connections and their possible impact on his father’s presidential campaign, the first came six paragraphs in and the second at the very end of the piece. (RELATED: Sen. Graham Says Investigating Hunter Biden ‘Doesn’t Make Me A Russian Agent’)
The focus was on Biden’s move to embrace art as the next chapter of his life, a move that he says is “literally keeping me sane.”
As an undiscovered artist, he is better situated than most: living in a rented, 2,000-square-foot house in the Hollywood Hills off Mulholland Drive, with a Porsche Panamera in the driveway, plenty of natural light and a pool house he has transformed into an art studio.
The piece addressed Biden’s checkered past once more in the context of his art, asking whether his personal fame would increase interest in his work or turn people off. The overall assessment, according to two established members of the art community, was that both effects would likely play against each other.
Not everyone was ready for such a flattering artist profile on Biden, however.
I completely understand why Hunter Biden is holed up in a $12,000/month rental in the Hollywood Hills making blow art to avoid his reality but what I don’t understand is how The New York Times thinks this normalization attempt was a good idea. https://t.co/6ASfVpNTM6
— Kate Hyde (@KateHydeNY) February 28, 2020
I’m not saying Hunter Biden is TRYING to sabotage his father’s presidential run by finding ways to wrestle his way into the spotlight at the most inopportune times (like before his father absolutely NEEDS a win tomorrow), but he’s definitely not helping! https://t.co/VEaQc52InE
— Steve Krakauer (@SteveKrak) February 28, 2020
With President Trump’s impeachment trial in the past, the likelihood that Biden would be called to testify before Congress has lessened considerably — although some Republicans have continued to press for new investigations.