Former Vice President Mike Pence said he welcomes the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden.
Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the appointment Friday, saying U.S. Attorney David Weiss, who has long overseen the investigation into Biden, would be appointed as special counsel to continue investigating President Joe Biden’s son.
“I think it’s about time that we saw the appointment of a special counsel to get to the bottom of not only what Hunter Biden was doing, but what the Biden family was doing,” Pence told reporters Friday at the Iowa State Fair. “The American people deserve answers, and I welcome the appointment.”
More: Mike Pence was accused of ‘treason’ by a Iowa State Fair attendee. Watch how he replied:
Hunter Biden had reached a plea deal with prosecutors to resolve tax evasion and gun charges stemming from Weiss’ five-year investigation, but the deal unraveled in court last month amid objections from Republican members of Congress.
Speaking to reporters Friday, Pence took the opportunity to highlight his own son’s military service.
“To be honest with you, I can’t relate to what his son was doing when he was vice president,” Pence said. “When I was vice president, my son was flying an F-35 for the Marine Corps defending this country.”
Mike Pence: Donald Trump ‘missing an opportunity’ by not sitting down with Gov. Kim Reynolds
Pence spent Friday at the Iowa State Fair, where he began his day sitting down with Gov. Kim Reynolds for an interview-style “fair-side chat.”
Reynolds has invited all the Republican presidential candidates to participate in the chats. Former President Donald Trump is the only candidate not scheduled to appear.
“I think anybody that skips sitting down with Gov. Kim Reynolds is missing an opportunity, just as much as they are if they skip a debate,” Pence told reporters.
Trump recently attacked Reynolds, who is remaining neutral in the 2024 presidential race, for not endorsing his candidacy.
Trump has also declined to say publicly whether he will attend the first Republican presidential primary debate in Milwaukee later this month.
Pence praised Reynolds, saying he is “incredibly proud” of her record.
“The way she has balanced budgets, cut taxes, expanded educational choice and stood for the right to life has really been an inspiration to people all across this state and all across the nation as well,” he said.
Chuck Grassley says ‘it’s about time’ a special counsel was appointed to investigate Hunter Biden
Pence also toured the Iowa Pork Producers Tent with U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, eating a pork sandwich and shaking hands with fairgoers.
Grassley, a Republican, said “it’s about time” there was a special counsel investigating Hunter Biden. He said he was one of several Republican lawmakers who called for Weiss to be given special counsel protections last September.
However, now Grassley says he has questions about Weiss serving in the role. He said Weiss hasn’t made use of records Grassley sent to him, including a controversial and unverified FBI document that relates to alleged bribery of Hunter Biden by Ukrainian business officials.
Weiss is a U.S. attorney from Delaware and was appointed by former President Donald Trump.
Grassley said the special counsel needs to “follow all the facts wherever it leads and to be transparent in the process.”
He said he has concerns about whether the special counsel will cooperate with congressional oversight.
“They better not appoint this person to inhibit congressional investigation,” Grassley said. “Because we know that this administration is just embedded with political bias and they do one thing for a Democrat and a different thing for a Republican.”
Garland said he appointed Weiss after Weiss informed him on Tuesday that “his investigation had reached a stage at which he should continue his work as a special counsel.”
Following the special counsel investigation, Garland said Weiss will provide him a report detailing decisions on whether to prosecute. Garland said the Justice Department will “make as much of his report public as possible.”
“The appointment of Mr. Weiss reinforces for the American people the department’s commitment to both independence and accountability in particularly sensitive matters,” Garland said.
USA Today contributed to this report.
Stephen Gruber-Miller covers the Iowa Statehouse and politics for the Register. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 515-284-8169. Follow him on Twitter at @sgrubermiller.
This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Mike Pence, at the Iowa State Fair, welcomes Hunter Biden special counsel