Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL) is expected to put forward a bill that would force the president and vice president to disclose the finances of their non-dependent children.
The story: Waltz’s legislation is called the Preventing Anonymous Income by Necessitating Transparency of Executive Relatives (PAINTER) Act. It aims to ensure greater transparency regarding the president and vice president’s non-dependent children’s finances.
The bill comes shortly before Hunter Biden’s art exhibition.
What he said: Waltz told Fox News the bill seeks to prevent what he described as “the obvious and shameless grift that’s going on with Hunter Biden’s art sales, for which he is obviously not qualified to do and is only doing to continue to profit off of his family name.”
“Look, this is just an obvious and despicable trend,” Waltz said. He cited Hunter Biden’s position as “an equity holder in the China nuclear power group that is blacklisted for trying to steal American warhead technology.”
“I mean we can keep going down the list of egregious act after egregious act, and we have to put a stop to it. And I’m going to do my best to get it into legislation,” the Florida lawmaker added.
Waltz explained that he wants to expand the financial disclosure requirement for spouses and dependent children of presidents, which is already a part of the Ethics in Government Act, to apply to the president and vice president’s children who are adults.
“And that’s really what this is all about, is just getting some transparency and shining a light on this. We should know who is backchanneling, backdooring and buying influence — which Hunter Biden has a long history of selling — to the President of the United States,” he said.
He noted: “Separately, I know people are going to point to the Trump family and children. I think there’s a distinction here in that if you have adult children with long, established careers both before office and then continuing into office… I have no problem with that.”
“But when you’re seeing the brand-new venture, money-making venture, with zero qualifications that are clearly hanging solely on the family name with anonymous buyers, that is a completely different matter and that’s what really gives me pause,” the congressman explained.
How we got here: The exhibition first raised eyebrows when it was revealed that Hunter Biden’s painting will be sold at prices ranging between $75,000 for works on paper to $500,000. Criticism grew after the Washington Post revealed last month that the White House helped create an agreement with the gallery owner to hide the identity of the buyers.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki defended the agreement, claiming that it “provides quite a level of protection and transparency.” She explained that“the gallerist will not share information about buyers or prospective buyers, including their identities, with Hunter Biden or the administration.”
However, a spokesperson for the gallery where the paintings are expected to be shown said Hunter Biden will appear at events with potential buyers.
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