- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 18, 2023

The House Oversight Committee is now scrutinizing the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement where classified documents from President Biden’s time in the Obama administration were discovered.

Committee Chairman James Comer on Wednesday sent a letter to the University of Pennsylvania President Mary Elizabeth Magill requesting a detailed list of anyone who had access to the think tank’s Washington offices.

The letter also seeks information about foreign donations to the Penn Biden Center, including from China, which Mr. Comer said could give the Chinese Communist Party sway over Biden administration policies.

“The Committee has learned UPenn received tens of millions of dollars from anonymous Chinese sources, with a marked uptick in donations when then-former Vice President Biden was announced as leading the Penn Biden Center initiative,” wrote Mr. Comer, Kentucky Republican. “Not only were these donations made while President Biden explored a potential run for president and launched his campaign, but also as his family and associates pursued lucrative financial projects with partners in China.” 

He said the American people “deserve to know whether the Chinese Communist Party, through Chinese companies, influenced potential Biden Administration policies with large, anonymous donations to UPenn and the Penn Biden Center.”

The Penn Biden Center is affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania, where Mr. Biden served as an honorary professor from 2017 to 2019. As part of that relationship, Mr. Biden had an office at the center’s Washington location after his term as vice president ended until he was elected president in 2020.

SEE ALSO: DOJ rejected having FBI agents monitor search for Biden documents

A conservative government watchdog last year alleged that the Penn Biden Center raked in tens of millions of dollars in anonymous donations from China.

The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) claimed the college received $54.6 million in donations from China between 2014 through June 2019, including $23.1 million in 2016.

The Ivy League university received $15.8 million in anonymous Chinese in 2018, after the center opened, and a single $14.5 million donation in May of that year, according to the conservative NLPC.

A university of Pennsylvania spokesman has denied that anonymous Chinese money had flowed to the center.

“The Penn Biden Center has never solicited or received any gifts from any Chinese or other foreign entity. In fact, the university has never solicited any gifts from the center,” spokesman Stephen MacCarthy said when the report was published in May.

Mr. MacCarthy said the Penn Biden center received three unsolicited donations from two individuals totaling $1,100 since 2017 but insisted both donors were American.

SEE ALSO: White House cites special counsel’s probe in declining to be transparent about Biden classified docs

White House lawyers found a batch of classified documents inside an office at the Penn Biden Center while cleaning it out in November. Additional documents from his time as vice president have been found inside Mr. Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware. 

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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