House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer is turning his attention to the Penn Biden Center think tank as part of the panel’s probe into President Biden’s mishandling of classified documents.
In a Wednesday letter to University of Pennsylvania President Mary Elizabeth Magill, Comer (R-Ky.) demanded to know who had access to Biden’s namesake Washington-based center, who may have met with the 80-year-old president there, what security was like at the facility, and whether the center received any donations from China — which the university denied in a statement to The Post last year.
“President Biden’s pattern of mishandling classified documents is alarming. The Committee is concerned about who had access to these documents given the Biden family’s financial connections to foreign actors and companies,” Comer wrote. “The Committee requests documents and information related to foreign influence at UPenn and the Penn Biden Center.”
In the letter, Comer noted an uptick in donations to Penn from China after the Penn Biden Center was inaugurated and the future president was named a professor at the Ivy League school.
The university raked in a total of $54.6 million in donations from China from 2014 through June 2019, including $23.1 million in anonymous gifts starting in 2016, The Post reported in April of last year.
Most of the anonymous donations came after the university announced in February 2017 that it would create the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, just a month after Biden’s term as vice president ended.
“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,” Comer wrote.
“UPenn publicized the formation of the Penn Biden Center on Feb. 1, 2017. After that announcement, UPenn’s donations originating from China more than tripled. 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.
“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 PennBiden Center,” he added.
Comer also noted the revolving door between the think tank and the president’s administration, with at least 10 people who would become senior executive branch officials having worked at the center, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl.
“The Committee is concerned top UPenn officials offered lucrative, foreign-funded salaries to President Biden’s closest political allies to secure senior posts in a future Biden Administration and foreign actors funded those salaries to influence a future government,” Comer wrote, adding that “It is imperative to understand whether any Biden family members or associates gained access to the classified documents while stored at the Penn Biden Center.”
Comer has asked the university to comply with his request for information by Feb. 1.
Last year, a Penn spokesman told The Post that no anonymous Chinese money had gone directly 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 for the Center,” Stephen MacCarthy said.
The discovery of approximately 10 classified documents at the center on Nov. 2, 2022, sparked a Justice Department investigation into how the highly sensitive papers – reportedly containing information about Iran, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom – wound up at the think tank.
Six more Obama-era classified documents were found in January at the president’s Wilmington, Del., home with an undisclosed number found in the garage.
Earlier this month, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed special counsel Robert Hur to oversee the investigation.