Democratic Donor Who Won Plum Biden Appointment Purchased Hunter Biden's Paintings: Report

Other patrons include Kevin Morris, the Los Angeles attorney who lent Hunter Biden millions to pay child support

Hunter Biden at a state dinner at the White House on June 22, 2023 (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
July 24, 2023

The White House once said it would install "reasonable safeguards" to ensure that the sale of Hunter Biden's artwork to ensure buyers would not have any "influence" over the president. A new report challenges the truthfulness of those comments.

Not only do the Bidens know at least two of the individuals who purchased some of Hunter’s paintings, but one of them, Elizabeth Hirsh Naftali, was appointed to a glamorous federal commission not long after buying the first son’s art, Business Insider reports. The other buyer is Kevin Morris, the Los Angeles attorney who has reportedly lent Hunter at least $2 million for his back taxes, child support, and living expenses for his lavish home in Los Angeles. The New York Times reported that Morris, who is open about owning the art, received several paintings as a gift.

President Joe Biden appointed Naftali, a Los Angeles-based real estate investor, to the Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad—a federal agency that oversees the preservation of European historical sites—in July 2022. Her appointment came just nine months after Hunter Biden’s first art show. Naftali has donated at least $13,414 to President Joe Biden’s campaign, and another $29,700 to the Democratic National Committee this year. She previously hosted a fundraiser that included Vice President Kamala Harris in 2022.

The Insider report is certain to raise a litany of ethics questions for the president. Although the timing of Naftali’s purchase is unknown, Hunter has suggested he’s played a hand in appointments to the Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad.

In March 2015, Hunter Biden’s cousin, Missy Owens, inquired about whether her mother could receive a presidential appointment, emails from a copy of his laptop show.

"I didn’t know she wanted to do that me [sic] of these. Eric asked for one of these the day after the election in 2008," Hunter wrote back. "You know better than me what are real and interesting appointments. Let’s go through the list with Steve and see what makes sense. I don’t know how much 2016 and nepotism plays into it​."

The "Eric" in that email appears to be Hunter Biden’s longtime business associate Eric Schwerin, who was appointed to the commission in 2015. President Biden has denied any speaking to his son about "his overseas business dealings," although the White House since changed its message to the president "was never in business with his son."

Former White House press secretary Jen Psaki dismissed ethics concerns about Hunter’s art career in July 2021, and said that "any offer out of the normal course would be rejected out of hand."

Hunter Biden has sold at least $1.3 million worth of his artwork, according to documents obtained by Insider. One anonymous buyer bought 11 pieces for nearly $900,000. That buyer’s identity is unknown at this time.

"Hunter Biden is a private citizen who is entitled to have his own career as an artist," White House spokesman Ian Sams told Business Insider. "We are not involved in his art sales, and any buyers of his art are not disclosed to the White House."