The Penn Biden Center, a Washington think tank where classified documents were found in November, hosted an event encouraging deeper U.S.-China ties.
The event took place as the University of Pennsylvania received tens of millions of dollars from Chinese entities, much of which was donated anonymously. The Penn Biden Center was the repository of a stash of classified U.S. documents until President Joe Biden’s personal attorneys found the papers in the president’s office on November 2.
In June, the center hosted a two-day event for Congressional staffers that encouraged closer cooperation with China on issues such as clean energy and academia, a source familiar with the event told The Washington Free Beacon. The event had no security posted, only staff to help attendees with information about the event.
The event was run by the Center for the Study of Contemporary China, the Penn Project on the Future of U.S.-China Relations, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies
The Hudson Institute’s Rebeccah Heinrichs, an expert on national security, said the security failures associated with having the sensitive U.S. papers stored in the same building where such an event took place are “shocking.”
“The fact that [the documents] were not secured, [were] open and uncared for, and also that you had this other activity going on inside this facility, with individuals that may not have the best interests of the American people at heart, is shocking,” Heinrichs told the Free Beacon.
“I would like to know more about … who was going in and out of these specific workshops, these discussions, who has been through this facility,” she continued. “The American people deserve a full accounting of who may have had easy access to these documents.”
Republicans on Capitol Hill have taken notice of the University of Pennsylvania’s financial ties to China and other foreign countries. House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) has pledged to lead an investigation into the university, its foreign donors, and what ties they may have to the Penn Biden Center.
The chairman also plans to investigate the buyers of artwork by Biden’s son, Hunter. Hunter Biden, an amateur artist, has made pieces priced for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“We’re trying to trace the money,” Comer said. “We’ll be looking at bank statements. We’ll be looking at bank violations. That’s the next phase of our investigation because we’re trying to figure out who these anonymous sources are that are sending so much money to the Biden family schemes — the Biden Center for Diplomacy and Hunter Biden’s artwork.”