In a break in the Merrick Garland hearing in the noon hour on Wednesday, CNN Inside Politics fill-in host Manu Raju ran a series of clips of House Republicans pressing the Attorney General for answers. The last clip in the package was Rep. Matt Gaetz asking, “Doesn’t it look weird that he’s become this immediate success in the art world after his dad is President of the United States? Isn’t that odd?” Garland had no comment.
Manu Raju asked CNN Senior Justice Correspondent Evan Perez with a bemused look on his face: “I mean, Evan, you watched Merrick Garland for years. What is your take?” Perez bizarrely claimed Hunter Biden “has struggled” to sell paintings:
PEREZ: Look, I think the Attorney General is being a lot more forceful than he has been at these hearings in the past. Often, he takes the punches. Today he’s been very forceful, pushing back, getting a little bit — certainly animated when he was being accused of discrimination against Catholics. One thing, I think, we should note is that Hunter Biden has struggled to sell any of these paintings, so Matt Gaetz’s facts are actually not right when it comes to that question.
But the New York Post and other media outlets reported in July that Hunter’s paintings drew at least $1.3 million in revenue, which is hardly the kind of cash some unknown dilettante in watercolors would make. How is that “struggling”? It sounds more like “immediate success.” Artists who have actually struggled to make a living (not a million) would agree.
We noted in 2017 that Evan Perez was closely aligned with “Fusion GPS,” the opposition-research gang that built up the illusion of Russian “collusion.” Those guys were his colleagues at The Wall Street Journal and they often “hung out” together.
PS: In 2021, CNN’s Chris Cillizza asked a Washington Post art critic if Hunter’s art was any good. The answer was no. They were like worthless “cafe paintings.”