Hunter Biden Didn’t Sell Any Art Until Joe Biden Was Elected President, Art Dealer Testifies

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Hunter Biden’s first art sale with a professional art dealer came shortly after his father, Joe Biden, was elected president, his art gallerist testified in January.

Attorneys for Georges Berges, Hunter Biden’s New York City-based gallerist, provided a letter to the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees showing Hunter Biden sold his first piece of art with Berges on Dec. 11, 2020, according to a transcript reviewed by the Daily Caller. (RELATED: Lesley Wolf Refused To Explain Order To Remove Joe Biden From Search Warrant In Hunter Biden Case)

WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 13: U.S. President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden talks to reporters outside the U.S. Capitol on December 13, 2023 in Washington, DC. Hunter Biden defied a subpoena from Congress to testify behind closed doors ahead of a House vote on an impeachment inquiry against his father. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The pair entered into a contract in 2020 after Berges and Hunter Biden first met in 2019 when Hollywood producer and Democratic donor Lanette Phillips introduced them, Berges testified.

“I met him maybe a year before his dad even was elected,” Berges said.

“I’ve been working with him, when his dad was elected, I’d been working with him for over a year at the time,” Berges added.

He clarified he was referring to Joe Biden’s presidential election. President Biden was elected in November 2020 over then-President Donald Trump.

“We had a mutual friend and she knows that I’m a gallerist and she liked his work. And she said–she’s introduced me to a lot of other people. But it was, you know, this is–there’s this artist,” Berges recalled.

He testified Phillips is the “mutual friend” who introduced them in 2019, a detail revealed by House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer in a press release following Berges’ testimony.

Comer disclosed information about Berges’ testimony regarding his lack of communication with the Biden White House over the ethics of Hunter Biden’s art sales and the Democratic donors who purchased a substantial amount of Hunter Biden’s art.

WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 13: House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) speaks to the media in the Rayburn House Office Building on December 13, 2023 in Washington, DC. U.S. President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden defied a subpoena from Congress to testify behind closed doors ahead of a House vote on an impeachment inquiry against his father. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Berges liked Hunter Biden’s personal story, and the pair built a relationship before they entered into a contractual agreement and Berges became his gallerist.

“I liked his art. I liked the trajectory. I liked his story, you know. I always like to tell people that, you know, Hunter, like so many of us, faced a crossroad in his life. And he could keep going and die or do the hard thing which is to change, and he did the hard thing,” Berges explained. He proceeded to compare Hunter Biden to the legendary “Rocky” movie series.

Hunter Biden became sober in May 2019 and began living in California with his new wife Melissa Cohen afterwards, according to his failed guilty plea agreement with the Department of Justice (DOJ). He detailed his addiction to crack cocaine in his 2021 memoir, “Beautiful Things,” and excerpts from the book are included in his federal tax indictment in California.

Biden allegedly failed to file his overdue tax returns and pay his outstanding tax liabilities long after he became sober, the California indictment states. He pleaded not guilty to the federal tax charges at an arraignment Thursday in Los Angeles.

In October, he pleaded not guilty to separate federal gun charges stemming from his alleged purchase of a firearm in Delaware while he battled his crack cocaine addiction.

Hunter Biden, son of US President Joe Biden, leaves the J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building in Wilmington, Delaware, on July 26, 2023. Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty to minor tax offenses on July 26, as a deal with federal prosecutors fell apart in a Delaware court. The surprise reversal of Biden’s agreement last month to settle the charges came after Judge Maryellen Noreika raised questions about the complicated deal that would also settle a separate gun charge against the president’s son, US media reported. (Photo by RYAN COLLERD / AFP) (Photo by RYAN COLLERD/AFP via Getty Images)

“So as you’re discussing–as this relationship is forming with you and Mr. Biden,” a staffer said to Berges.

“Right,” Berges responded.

“[W]hen did you first sell a piece of Hunter Biden’s art?”

“Gees, I don’t remember,” Berges said. One of his attorneys appeared to show him the letter with the date of Hunter Biden’s first art sale with Berges.

“Is this the–so, December 11th, 2020,” Berges stated.

“So according to your letter, the first sale of Hunter Biden’s art was on December 20th. Had you established anything in writing regarding your relationship with Hunter Biden at that time? Excuse me. December 11th,” Berges was asked.

“I believe so, yeah,” he replied. He recalled a 60% to 40% split between Hunter Biden and himself in the terms of the first contract. He believed the first contract was agreed upon around the 2020 presidential election but could not recall a precise date.

Berges and Hunter Biden entered into a new contract in September 2021, and Hunter Biden received a slight commission increase in the new deal. The 60% to 40% rate for artists and gallerists is the industry standard, Berges said.

As part of the initial contract, Hunter Biden was allowed to learn the identity of his art buyers, but in the second contract Berges was required not to inform Biden of his buyers, the art gallerist testified.

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 20: U.S. President Joe Biden embraces his family after he was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States during his inauguration on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. During today’s inauguration ceremony Biden becomes the 46th president of the United States. (Photo by Jonathan Ernst-Pool/Getty Images)

On Feb. 17, 2021, right after President Biden’s inauguration, Democratic donor Elizabeth Naftali purchased a piece of Hunter Biden’s art for $52,000, Berges stated. It took the art gallerist a year of persuasion to get Naftali to buy the piece.

President Biden appointed Naftali in July 2022 to a presidential commission tasked with preserving America’s heritage abroad. She bought another Hunter Biden art piece for $42,000 on Dec. 9, 2022. Berges confirmed Naftali knew Hunter Biden, and he believed she could have told him about her art purchases.

The art gallerist said he did not provide the White House with any records of Hunter Biden’s art sales or the patrons who bought his art.

Berges told lawmakers he never informed Biden of who his buyers were despite the initial provision granting him permission to find out their identities. Hunter Biden recommended the changes to the second contract, which ended in September 2023 after two years.

Berges later testified that he does not believe Hunter Biden sold any art prior to the start of their relationship.

“Did Hunter Biden ever sell art before using you as agent?”

“Not that I know of. I don’t know,” Berges answered.

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 10: Hunter Biden (2R), son of U.S. President Joe Biden, and his lawyer Abbe Lowell attend a House Oversight Committee meeting on January 10, 2024 in Washington, DC. The committee is meeting today as it considers citing him for Contempt of Congress. (Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)

“I didn’t get an impression that he sold anything before he met me,” Berges added in response to follow up questions. The terms of his contract with Hunter Biden gave Berges exclusive representation of Hunter Biden, an industry standard.

He sold an estimated $1.5 million worth of Hunter Biden’s art and said he did so because of his passion for Hunter’s art, not partisan affiliations. Hollywood attorney Kevin Morris, Hunter Biden’s fixer, purchased $875,000 of the $1.5 million in art sales.

“So it had nothing to do with politics, but it had to do with the integrity of the artist. And I actually believe everything I say. It has nothing to do with politics,” he asserted. Berges repeatedly praised Hunter Biden for being a “great artist” and expressed his passion for Hunter Biden’s art work.

Berges has donated to Republican and Democratic politicians including former Presidents Trump and Obama, Federal Election Commission (FEC) records show.

“And I’m looking at it strictly from an artist perspective and a humanistic perspective. I don’t care about the politics,” he testified.

Comer is leading the House GOP’s impeachment inquiry into President Biden along with Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith.

Comer and Jordan said in a Sunday letter they are prepared to issue a second round of subpoenas to have Hunter Biden testify before congress as part of the impeachment inquiry.

Hunter Biden skipped a closed-door deposition Dec. 13 and staged a press conference on Capitol Hill instead of complying with subpoenas.

“Let me state as clearly as I can: My father was not financially involved in my business, not as a practicing lawyer, not as a board member of Burisma. Not in my partnership with a Chinese private businessman. Not my investments at home nor abroad and certainly not as an artist,” Biden said.

House Republicans could hold a floor vote later this week on holding Biden in contempt of congress.

Henry Rodgers contributed to this report.