The House Committee on Education and the Workforce is investigating whether the University of Pennsylvania violated any laws as a result of classified documents being found at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, D.C.
Chair Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., wrote Education Secretary Miguel Cardona on Friday to request documents and communications between the department and Penn concerning the classified records.
“The Department of Education has once again demonstrated that it has no intention of exposing the lack of integrity of American institutions,” Foxx told Newsmax.
“Despite uncovering millions in contributions provided to UPenn from China, the Department appears to be putting political interests over the serious national security threat our 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.”
Reps. Jim Banks, R-Ind., James Comer, R-Ky., and Michelle Steel, R-Calif., co-signed the letter.
“We are concerned with the University of Pennsylvania’s (UPenn) involvement in the matter and whether the institution violated section 117 of the Higher Education Act of 1965, breaking the barrier between academic freedom and national security,” Foxx said in the letter.
“Coincidentally, less than a month prior to Attorney General [Merrick] Garland’s appointment of a special counsel to investigate the matter, your Department of Education (Department) announced it was abandoning robust scrutiny of section 117 violations and was moving section 117 enforcement efforts from the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) to the Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA). FSA was never designed to handle such serious matters and it 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.
“Indeed, following the Center’s launch in 2017, UPenn saw a nearly 400 percent increase in reportable gifts and contracts.
“This alarming spike in foreign donations also included approximately $22 million in anonymous donations from China.”