The House Committee on Education and the Workforce has launched an investigation into the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Biden Center in Washington, D.C.
The probe seeks to determine if the university violated any laws when classified documents were discovered at the think tank.
The committee’s Chair, Virginia Foxx, a Republican from North Carolina, has written to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona requesting documents and communication between the department and Penn related to the classified records, according to Newsmax.
Foxx is concerned about the lack of integrity in American institutions, with millions in contributions being provided to UPenn from China.
She believes that the Department of Education is putting political interests above the serious national security threat that foreign adversaries pose on college campuses.
“The Department has shirked its duty to enforce the law, but this Committee will leave no stone unturned as we work to ensure that students are free from communist influence,” Foxx said in a statement to Newsmax.
Reps. Jim Banks, R-Ind., James Comer, R-Ky., and Michelle Steel, R-Calif., co-signed the letter, expressing concern about the university’s involvement in the matter and whether it violated section 117 of the Higher Education Act of 1965, breaking the barrier between academic freedom and national security.
In her letter, Foxx expressed concern about the Department of Education’s abandonment of robust scrutiny of section 117 violations, and its relocation of section 117 enforcement efforts from the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) to the Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA).
FSA was not designed to handle such serious matters and does not have the capability or expertise needed to do so, Foxx added.
The relocation of the enforcement activities to FSA was done despite the fact that enforcement efforts undertaken by the OGC led to the reporting of $6.5 billion in previously undisclosed foreign contributions, including foreign contributions made to UPenn.
Following the Penn Biden Center’s launch in 2017, UPenn saw a nearly 400 percent increase in reportable gifts and contracts, Newsmax notes.
This alarming spike in foreign donations included approximately $22 million in anonymous donations from China.
CBS News reported in January that U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland had assigned the U.S. attorney in Chicago to review about 10 documents marked classified that were found on November 2 at the Penn Biden Center.
Some documents found at the Washington, D.C., think tank, where then-former Vice President Joe Biden used an office, were labeled top secret.
In her letter to Cardona, Foxx also criticized the Biden administration for failing to protect students, institutions, and taxpayers against threats posed by foreign adversaries on college campuses.