The House Foreign Affairs Committee is probing several senior State Department officials’ ties to President Biden’s University of Pennsylvania-affiliated think tank, which sits at the center of his classified-document scandal.
Rep. Michael T. McCaul, Texas Republican, raised concerns in a letter Tuesday to Secretary of State Antony Blinken about “tens of millions of dollars” in donations to the university from “undisclosed Chinese investors” between 2017 to 2019 in addition to the discovery of improperly stored classified documents at the Penn Biden Center’s Washington office.
Mr. Blinken is among several senior State Department officials who worked for, or were involved in, the Penn Biden Center before taking their current roles in the Biden administration.
Classified government documents dating back to Mr. Biden’s time as vice president in the Obama White House were discovered at the Center on Nov. 2, just six days before the midterm elections.
The matter only became public two months later when it was reported by CBS News.
Mr. Blinken, who led the Center before becoming secretary of state, has denied knowing about the documents before they were discovered.
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Mr. McCaul said in addition to national security implications of the mishandled documents, the payments from Chinese investors raise “questions about the Center’s potential ties to – or benefits derived from – that funding, interactions you or others had with the donors, and whether PRC-linked individuals ever entered the Center and came within close proximity of classified U.S. intelligence information.”
In the letter, Mr. McCaul demands that Mr. Blinken provide a “detailed explanation” of his role at the Penn Biden Center and whether he had access to the spaces where the classified documents were found.
“The Committee takes its responsibility to oversee State Department officials and their conduct seriously,” he wrote.