On the campaign trail, President Joe Biden pledged that there would be an “absolute wall” between his official duties and his family’s private business interests. The Biden White House repeatedly made reference to that wall when responding to questions about the fledgling art career of Hunter Biden, the president’s son. In 2021, when a New York art gallery debuted Hunter Biden’s paintings with asking prices as high as $500,000, the White House said that Hunter Biden’s team had a process for carefully vetting buyers, and that their identities were known only to the gallery, and not to Hunter Biden himself. The messaging seemed to suggest that Hunter Biden’s art patrons came from a rarified universe of collectors who had nothing to do with the hurly burly of politics.
Neither of those things has turned out to be the case. Hunter Biden did in fact learn the identity of two buyers, according to three people directly familiar with Hunter Biden’s own account of his art career. And one of those buyers is indeed someone who got a favor from the Biden White House. The timing of their purchase, however, is unknown.
That buyer, Insider can reveal, is Elizabeth Hirsh Naftali, a Los Angeles real estate investor and philanthropist. Hirsh Naftali is influential in California Democratic circles and is a significant Democratic donor who has given $13,414 to the Biden campaign and $29,700 to the Democratic National Campaign Committee this year. In 2022, she hosted a fundraiser headlined by Vice President Kamala Harris.