A clear link between Chinese funding and the controversial Biden-affiliated think tank at the University of Pennsylvania was noted 18 months ago, but then-Attorney General Josh Shapiro ignored the trail.
State law enforcement officials were informed through a letter from the group “Take Back Our Republic” in July 2021 that there were potential problems with the heavily Chinese-influenced institution. Now the situation has exploded with the discovery of improperly kept classified materials.
The revelation of these documents being housed in a private office, along with the persecution of former President Donald Trump for a remarkably similar alleged infraction, created a firestorm of controversy.
In addition, it was six days before the November midterms when the documents were discovered, but the scandal only came to light this week.
Clearly Santos didn't commit treason.
Biden left classified documents at the Biden Penn Center, the Center he founded at the U of PA in 2017.
— CeCe ✞🇺🇸 🌴🦩 (@Ohio_buckeye_us) January 12, 2023
But it was two summers ago when the allegations of possible impropriety surfaced.
The group noted the “excessive compensation” of university president Amy Gutmann — nearly $4 million. She assisted with the formation of the Biden-Penn center and was then nominated as ambassador to Germany after the 2020 presidential election.
That appointment followed extensive communication with President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter. A possible job opportunity at the Penn Center for the younger Biden was also mentioned.
The letter reported that her salary “is far in excess of that of other university presidents (and) about twenty times the compensation of the Governor of Pennsylvania.”
Secondly, the university’s reliance on “hundreds of millions of dollars in secret donations from China and Saudi Arabia” was spotlighted. The letter called for the full disclosure of funding sources and destinations as well as violations of the law to be reported to the Department of Justice.
It is not illegal to raise money abroad, but the secrecy surrounding the donations raised red flags for the group.
Finally, the letter questioned the nearly $1 million paid to Biden for the years 2017-19. It revealed that the future president was named the “Benjamin Franklin Presidential Practice Professor” though he never taught a class.
This act, it said, could be a “serious misapplication of nonprofit funds” and a violation of state law.
Further, if the appointment and compensation were linked to Gutmann’s nomination for the ambassadorship, that would also be a clear violation of state statutes.
The group added that the possibility that the university served as a conduit for “foreign donations to Biden’s presidential campaign” meant that any findings of an investigation should be forwarded to the Federal Election Commission.
No official action was taken by the state government after receiving the letter.
Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special counsel on Thursday to look into the matter, and at least that’s a start. But it’s also a case of the administration overseeing an investigation of itself, and possible improprieties were noted long before the discovery of the documents.