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The White House has defended its role in helping to broker a deal that will shroud art deals by President Joe Biden’s son in secrecy. Paintings by Hunter Biden are expected to fetch up to $500,000 (£360,000) apiece at auction this autumn. Any buyers will be kept anonymous to stop them seeking political influence with the Bidens, the White House says. But a former White House ethics chief said the arrangement was “very disappointing”. The younger Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine, China and elsewhere have often been held up by Republican critics as a conflict of interest for his father, which both Bidens deny. Hunter is currently facing a federal tax investigation, though he has said he is “100% certain” he will be cleared.

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