President Biden on Friday offered his first public comments on the appointment of a special counsel to oversee an investigation into his son, Hunter Biden.
“I have no comment on any investigation that’s going on. That’s up to the Justice Department, and that’s all I have to say,” Biden said at a joint press conference with the leaders of South Korea and Japan.
Attorney General Merrick Garland last week appointed David Weiss, the Delaware federal prosecutor who has led the investigation into Hunter Biden, as a special counsel overseeing the investigation.
The move came after a plea deal for Biden related to failure to pay income taxes appeared to fall apart.
Republicans have sharply criticized how the tax probe into Biden was handled, citing claims from two IRS whistleblowers that Weiss was blocked from seeking special counsel status — a claim Weiss and the DOJ have consistently denied.
The whistleblowers, IRS investigators Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, also claimed the Justice Department slow-walked the case, gave Biden preferential treatment and declined to pursue charges in other jurisdictions with stronger evidence.
The appointment of a special counsel thrust the president’s son back into the headlines, providing yet another opening for Republicans to go on the attack and question whether Hunter Biden is receiving favorable treatment from the Justice Department.
The president and White House officials have repeatedly declined to weigh in on the probe into Hunter Biden and have been adamant that they will allow the Justice Department to proceed independently.