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The United State House Foreign Affairs Committee sent a letter, written by the chairman Michael McCaul (R-Tx.), requesting information about Secretary of State Antony Blinken's role at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement (Photo by Michael Calabrò | CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

The United States House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken requesting information about his role at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement.

The letter, which was sent on Jan. 23 and written by Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas), asked for clarification on Blinken's knowledge of classified documents at the Center and his interactions with China as the Center’s managing director from May 2017 to June 2019. 

The letter also inquires about the affiliations of former Penn President and Ambassador to Germany Amy Gutmann and former Chairman of Penn’s Board of Trustees and Ambassador to Canada David Cohen with China and their access to the Center, according to the press release

In the letter, McCaul wrote that the University of Pennsylvania received “tens of millions of dollars from undisclosed Chinese investors,” allegedly posing a security threat to classified documents found at the Penn Biden Center. 

McCaul drew attention to the reported increase in Chinese donations that Penn received, which was $61 million from 2017-19, an increase from $19 million during the previous four years. To investigate these changes, he requested in the letter a detailed report of Gutmann and Cohen’s visits to China or any interactions they had with Chinese officials.

On Jan. 18, the House Oversight and Accountability Committee sent a letter to Penn President Liz Magill inquiring about foreign donations and visitors to the Penn Biden Center. Penn denied any allegations that the Penn Biden Center received money tied to China. 

"The University has never solicited any gifts for the Center. Since its inception in 2017 there have been three unsolicited gifts, from two donors, which combined [to a total of]  $1,100,” a University spokesperson wrote to The Daily Pennsylvanian on Jan. 18. “Both donors are Americans. One hundred percent of the budget for the Penn Biden Center comes from university funds.”

McCaul also requested information from other State Department officials employed by the Penn Biden Center, including Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Michael Carpenter, Deputy to the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Jeffery Prescott, and former Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Brian McKeon. 

The first set of classified documents was found at Penn Biden Center on Nov. 2. An additional six documents were discovered in Biden’s Delaware home in December.  

The documents found at the Penn Biden Center are currently under investigation by a special counsel appointed earlier this month.