(The Center Square) President Joe Biden is under investigation for holding on to classified documents from his time in the Obama administration, but now lawmakers have a new question: did Chinese money influence Biden’s policies?
The question arose when news broke that some of the classified documents were reportedly found in a closet at the Penn Biden Center, which House Oversight lawmakers say has taken millions of dollars from “anonymous Chinese sources.”
“The Penn Biden Center appears to have acted as a foreign-sponsored source of income for much of a Biden Administration in-waiting,” House Oversight Chair Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., said in a letter to Mary Magill, the group’s president.
“Between 2017 and 2019, UPenn paid President Biden more than $900,000, and the university employed at least 10 people at the Penn Biden Center who later became senior Biden administration officials,” Comer wrote. “This level of access and opportunity raises questions about who had access to the classified documents found at the Penn Biden Center.”
He said it was “imperative” that the committee develop a clearer understanding of whether members of the Biden family and their surrogates had access to the classified materials being stored at the foreign-policy think-tank.
Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a news conference last week that in November of last year, the National Archives Office of Inspector General reached out to the Department of Justice after the materials were first discovered at the Penn Biden Center in early November.
“That office was not authorized for storage of classified documents,” Garland said.
“The [DOJ] prosecutor was also advised that those documents had also been secured at an archives facility,” he continued. “On Nov. 9, the FIB commenced an assessment, consistent with standard protocols, to understand whether classified information had been mishandled in violation of federal law.”
Garland said that on Dec. 20, Biden’s personal counsel told the DOJ that more documents with classified markings were found in Biden’s private garage in Wilmington, Delaware. Those also came from during Biden’s time as vice president.
“The FBI went to the location and secured those documents,” Garland said.
Biden admitted during a news conference that he did have classified documents in his garage, next to his corvette. Since then, more classified documents were found at Biden’s home.
Comer took issue with the Delaware residence’s role in the documents and pressed for answers on why Biden officials continued searching for documents. Comer called on White House chief of staff Ron Klain to release the visitors log for Biden’s residence.
“It is troubling that classified documents have been improperly stored at the home of President Biden for at least six years, raising questions about who may have reviewed or had access to classified information,” Comer wrote in a letter to Klain.
“Additionally, President Biden’s personal attorneys, who do not possess security clearances, and White House staff continue to access and search the President’s residence in Wilmington, Delaware for classified documents,” he said.