House Oversight Committee chairman James Comer is calling for a deeper look into the Penn Biden Center after Obama-era classified documents were found inside a closet at the think tank.
Comer is shifting his sights away from the documents found in President Biden’s Wilmington garage after White House lawyers claimed no visitor log exists for the residence. The Republican is now requesting that the University of Pennsylvania, PBC’s parent, provide a detailed list of anyone who had access to the think tank’s Washington, D.C. offices.
Comer sent a letter to UPenn President Mary Elizabeth Magill on Wednesday. In addition to personnel logs, the letter–obtained by Punchbowl News–seeks information about foreign influence on the PBC, particularly donations from China.
“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.
“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 letter continued. “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.”
Comer’s letter ultimately requests all documents relating to donations from China, including a list of Chinese donors. It also seeks a list of all PBC employees, all individuals who had key card access to the think tank’s offices, and a visitor log of everyone who met with Biden at the PBC offices.
White House lawyers have so far found three batches of misplaced classified documents from Biden’s time as vice president, one at the PBC’s offices and two more inside the president’s home in Wilmington, Delaware.
Biden’s lawyers uncovered the first batch of classified documents in November and said they immediately handed over the documents to the National Archives. Since then, searches uncovered two more stashes inside the garage of Biden’s home in Wilmington.
The trove of mishandled documents led Attorney General Merrick Garland to appoint a special counsel to investigate the matter last week, tapping former U.S. attorney Robert Hur.