China, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Turkey have poured millions of dollars into the University of Delaware since the school launched the Biden Institute, President Joe Biden’s domestic policy think tank led by his sister, according to U.S. Department of Education records reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon.
Since the Biden Institute was established in 2017, the University of Delaware has received $6,704,250 in funding from China, $23,610,996 from Saudi Arabia, $2,513,646 from Oman and $1,673,847 from Turkey, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education.
News of the funding comes as lawmakers have called for an investigation into President Joe Biden’s private papers housed at the University of Delaware, after federal authorities uncovered classified documents at Biden’s home and at the Penn Biden Center, the president’s other foreign-policy-focused think tank at the University of Pennsylvania. It also comes as the University of Pennsylvania has faced questions from Congress about foreign donations it received after launching the Penn Biden Center.
The University of Delaware has declined to disclose the Biden Institute’s donors and told the Free Beacon in 2020 that these records are not subject to public information laws because the Biden Institute is privately funded.
Government watchdogs said the University of Delaware’s secrecy over the Biden Institute’s funding raises questions about whether any foreign funds have gone to the think tank, which is chaired by Biden’s sister, Valerie Biden Owens, and has employed some of his top aides and political allies.
“The secrecy surrounding the suspected foreign funding of the Biden Institute at the University of Delaware is on a par with that of the Penn Biden Center of the University of Pennsylvania,” said Paul Kamenar, counsel to the National Legal and Policy Center, an ethics watchdog group that has investigated both think tanks. “The House oversight committees need to uncover the dark money sources in both cases, particularly from China.”
In late January, Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) called on the FBI and the Department of Justice to search 1,875 boxes of records that Biden donated to the University of Delaware library in 2012, which are closed to the public.
Cruz said officials need to know if any “additional classified documents are in those records.”
“Given Biden’s pattern, we should have zero reason [to] have any confidence that there are not multiple classified documents,” Cruz said on his podcast.
Biden, who spent decades representing Delaware in the Senate, has a long relationship with the university. The University of Delaware is home to the Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy & Administration, which established the Biden Institute—a think tank focused on domestic policy—in 2017.
In January, House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Michael McCaul (R., Texas) launched an inquiry into foreign funding to the University of Pennsylvania, which received $61 million from Chinese funders in the three years after the Penn Biden Center was launched in 2017, the Free Beacon reported in 2021. Since Biden’s inauguration, the university has accepted an additional $14 million from unnamed donors in China and Hong Kong, according to Department of Education records.
The University of Pennsylvania told the Free Beacon that none of the donations were specifically earmarked for the Penn Biden Center and said the think tank is funded through the school’s general budget.
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