As part of their impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden, House Republicans issued a letter Thursday requesting an interview with an individual central to Hunter Biden’s art career that may have allowed the president’s son to launder bribes.
“The House Committee on Oversight and Accountability … and the House Committee on the Judiciary … are investigating whether sufficient grounds exist to draft articles of impeachment against President Biden for consideration by the full House. … This request is made pursuant to that inquiry,” GOP Reps. James Comer and Jim Jordan wrote.
The individual is Lanette Phillips, an associate of Hunter’s attorney and financer, Kevin Morris, and of Georges Bergès, a New York City art gallerist who sold Hunter’s works. According to Morris’s prior congressional testimony, Phillips introduced Morris and Bergès to the younger Biden at a November 2019 fundraiser for then-presidential candidate Joe Biden. Not long after this meeting, Morris spent “at least $875,000 to purchase art by Hunter Biden through his limited liability company, Kuliaky Art, LLC,” and would later provide “at least $6.5 million in ‘loans’ to Hunter Biden,” the representatives write.
Morris has continued to represent the younger Biden in the latter’s legal scandals.
Given Hunter’s extensive history of leveraging the Biden “brand” to enhance the family’s foreign influence-peddling scheme, House Republicans are requesting Phillips testify to provide answers on whether Morris’s “substantial financial support for Hunter Biden was intended to benefit, curry favor with, or gain access to Joe Biden.” “As the person who introduced Morris to Hunter Biden, the Committees believe that you have information relevant to that question,” Comer and Jordan wrote.
Republicans’ request for Phillips’s testimony comes shortly after Bergès revealed to House investigators there was no “agreement” between him and the White House to keep the identities of Hunter’s art buyers secret from Hunter and the administration. In fact, Bergès reportedly said he had “no communication with the White House” regarding such an arrangement and that Hunter “knew the identities of the individuals who purchased roughly 70% of the value of his art, including Democrat donors Kevin Morris and Elizabeth Hirsh Naftali.”
Bergès’s testimony corroborates a July Insider report that identified Morris and Hirsh Naftali as two individuals who have purchased Hunter’s work. As The Federalist previously reported, Hirsh Naftali is a Los Angeles-based real estate investor Insider says is “influential in California Democratic circles and is a significant Democratic donor.” Last year, she reportedly gave $29,700 to the Democratic National Campaign Committee and $13,414 to Joe Biden’s campaign. She also hosted a 2022 fundraiser headlined by Vice President Kamala Harris.
While Hirsh Naftali purportedly couldn’t be persuaded by Bergès to purchase any of Hunter’s works in 2020, she did purchase her “first piece” of the younger Biden’s art for $42,000 after Joe assumed the presidency. In July 2022, Joe appointed Hirsh Naftali to serve on the Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, the “same commission that Biden family associate, Eric Schwerin, was appointed to during the Obama-Biden Administration.”
House Republicans asked Phillips to respond to their staff to schedule a transcribed interview by Feb. 8.