The White House has protected its role in negotiating a deal that will cover art deals by President Joe Biden’s son in secrecy.
Paintings by Hunter Biden are anticipated to fetch up to $500,000 (£360,000) apiece at auction this autumn.
Any buyers will be kept unidentified to stop them from seeking political influence with the Bidens, the White House states.
But a former White House ethics chief mentioned the arrangement was “very disappointing”.
Republican critics have often stated the younger Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine, China and elsewhere as a conflict of interest for his father, which both Bidens refute.
Hunter is presently facing a federal tax investigation, though he has said he is “100% certain” he will be cleared.
When questioned on Friday about the White House’s reported role in the art sale, press secretary Jen Psaki mentioned, “After careful consideration, a system has been established that allows for Hunter Biden to work in his profession within reasonable safeguards. Of course, he has the right to pursue an artistic career just like any child of a president has the right to pursue a career.”
As per the arrangement, the buyers are expected to remain anonymous to Hunter Biden – a self-taught artist – to avert influence-peddlers seeking to curry favour with the US president.
“I think it would be challenging for an anonymous person who we don’t know and Hunter Biden doesn’t know to have influence,” Ms Psaki mentioned.
But Walter Shaub, who served as ethics chief under President Barack Obama, overruled the White House’s claim that the arrangement would guarantee transparency.
Mr Shaub, who was a forthright critic of former President Donald Trump, wrote on Twitter, “So instead of disclosing who is paying outrageous sums for Hunter Biden’s artwork so that we could monitor whether the purchasers are gaining access to government, the [White House] tried to make sure we will never know who they are.”
“That’s very disappointing.”
Hunter’s first individual exhibition and auction are set for October at the George Bergès Gallery in New York.
The gallery states the oil, acrylic and ink paintings as “a distinctively unique experience that have become signature Biden”.
As per the dealer, smaller pieces are set to sell for $75,000, with the larger ones likely to reach half a million dollars.
The younger Biden, 51, printed his biography in April detailing his struggles as a crack cocaine addict.