Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Biden Admin Sued for Stonewalling on China Donations to Penn Biden Center

(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) A watchdog group called the Defense of Freedom Institute for Policy Studies filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration for its failure to release documents concerning donations to a University of Pennsylvania think tank, which many suspect came from China.

The group filed three Freedom of Information Act requests with the Department of Education, requesting records of foreign gifts to the Biden Center for Diplomacy & Global Engagement, known familiarly as the Penn Biden Center, the Daily Caller reported.

In between his terms as vice president and president, Biden maintained offices there and assumed an honorary “faculty” position according to his own account, although he never taught a class.

Current Secretary of State Antony Blinken, a longtime Biden staffer, served as the center’s managing director.

In addition to information about foreign gifts, DFI’s FOIA requests sought clarification concerning contracts with the center.

“The University of Pennsylvania received a 400% increase in foreign donations after establishing the Penn Biden Center… in 2017,” said DFI Co-founder and President Bob Eitel.

“Given that the Biden Center was associated with several persons no working in very senior levels of the administration and that one of them is the President of the United States, the public is also entitled to know what role Penn or the Biden Center played in any of these decisions,” he added.

The stated goal of the center was to assist students and faculty in the advancement of “smart policy, and strengthen the national debate for continued American global leadership in the 21st century.”

Many viewed the Penn Biden Center’s relationship with China as highly suspect—particularly as investigations into Biden family dealings continue to reveal deep corruption, some of which traces back to the Chinese government.

Records already available to the public show the college received $54.6 million in donations from China between 2014 and 2019.

The center, which is located in Washington, D.C., opened its doors in February 2018. That same year, the university received $15.8 million in anonymous Chinese gifts.

Other watchdog groups requested U.S. Attorney David Weiss merge the investigation into his federal tax probe of Hunter Biden. Investigators suspect there a link between the younger Biden’s cozy relationship with the foreign power and the mysterious donations.

In a carefully worded statement, UPenn spokesperson Stephen MacCarthy denied that the Penn Biden Center was directly involved in any foreign transactions.

“The Penn Biden Center has never solicited or received any gifts from any Chinese or other foreign entity,” MacCarthy said. “In fact, the University has never solicited any gifts for the Center.”

Other Ivy League colleges have also received large amounts of Chinese money. Harvard received $75 million, and Yale $43.5 million between 2014-2019.

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