A watchdog group is asking the U.S. Education Department to investigate the University of Pennsylvania and its Biden Center, a diplomacy and global engagement initiative named after the Democratic presidential candidate, for accepting millions of dollars in anonymous funds from Chinese donors.
The complaint, filed by the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), says that over the past three years, the university has accepted around $22 million in anonymous funding from Chinese sources. That’s out of a total of more than $70 million from Chinese donors during that time, the NLPC said.
Those funds, including the anonymous amounts, arrived after the Biden Center was announced in early 2017 and launched in February 2018. The Center is located in downtown Washington, D.C.
The NLPC says since 2017 alone, when the Biden Center opened and after Joe Biden announced he was running for President in April 2018, the university received over $70 million from China, of which $22 million were listed as “Anonymous.” Federal law requires the disclosure of the source of all donations over $250,000. The complaint also requests referral to the Department of Justice to file an enforcement action seeking compliance and to recoup all the costs of the investigation.
The complaint notes that the Biden Center co-sponsored the 2020 Penn China Research Symposium on January 31, 2020, that included opening remarks by Consul-General of the People’s Republic of China in New York Ambassador Huang Ping, amid the coverup by China of the pandemic of the coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China.
“It is apparent that the Biden Center is beholden to China for its operations,” said NLPC Chairman Peter Flaherty. “This has an insidious affect on shaping the programs it produces.” “These multi-million dollar donations from China are bad enough,” said NLPC counsel Paul Kamenar, “but the flagrant reporting violations over the years are simply outrageous.”
The complaint also notes that the David L. Cohen, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the university, hosted a major fundraising event for Biden on the day he announced his candidacy.
Founded in 1991 following the release of the Senate Ethics Committee report into the Keating Five, the National Legal and Policy Center is a right-leaning 501(c)(3) non-profit group that monitors and reports on the ethics of public officials, supporters of liberal causes, and labor unions in the United States. The Center files complaints with government agencies, legally challenges what they view as abuse and corruption, and publishes reports.