Did Chinese Money Influence Biden Policies? Rep. Comer Requesting Documents From U-Penn

Susan Jones | January 13, 2023 | 6:13am EST
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President Joe Biden and China's President Xi Jinping meet on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia on November 14, 2022. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
President Joe Biden and China's President Xi Jinping meet on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia on November 14, 2022. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), chair of the House Oversight Committee, said on Thursday night he wants to follow the trail of anonymous Chinese money to the Biden family, and the possible influence China's Communist Party may have had on Biden policies.

For example, in February 2022, the Biden administration ended the Trump-era China Initiative, established by the Justice Department in 2018 to counter national security threats from the People's Republic of China.

"So we're sending a letter to Penn, requesting documents related to the Chinese donations," Comer told investigative reporter John Solomon Thursday night:

"We want the list of the individuals involved, whoever was involved in soliciting donations from China -- we want all communications, because I think this is very important. This is another aspect of the potential for this family to be compromised.

"Look at the pattern here, from China. Anonymous donations to the Biden Center for diplomacy, which paid Joe Biden a salary; anonymous donors into Hunter Biden's shady LLC from China; anonymous purchasers of art from China at Hunter's new art gallery in New York City: There is a pattern here of massive amounts of money flowing into Biden interests. And this is why we're investigating this family.

"And I think what's happened in the last 48 hours with the mainstream media -- they see the legitimacy of this investigation. And I think we've got a lot of momentum now and a lot of purpose behind what we're doing, and hopefully, we'll be able to get some answers very soon."

Penn -- the University of Pennsylvania -- established the Penn Biden Center in Washington, D.C., providing Biden with office space after he served as vice president.

Penn reportedly received millions of dollars in donations from China, among other sources, to establish the Penn Biden think tank -- where some classified material was found in Biden's office last November.

Threats from China

Looking back one year to February 2022, Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen explained the threat from China, even as he announced the end of the DOJ's China Initiative:

"I’ll give you a few examples of what the PRC government is doing," Olsen said in a speech at George Mason University in Virginia:

"First, it has targeted U.S. citizens with connections to the intelligence community to obtain valuable government and military secrets. In recent years, we have prosecuted four espionage cases involving the PRC, reflecting a concerted effort to steal our most sensitive information.

"Second, the government of China has also used espionage tools and tactics against U.S. companies and American workers to steal critical and emerging technologies. Agents of the PRC government have been caught stealing everything from cutting-edge semiconductor technology to actual seeds that had been developed for pharmaceutical uses after years of research and the investment of millions of dollars.

"Third, the PRC government has used malicious and unlawful cyber campaigns to pursue technological advancement and profit. The PRC reaps the benefits of these criminal activities, while the victims, including governments, businesses and critical infrastructure operators, lose billions of dollars in intellectual property, proprietary information, ransom payments and mitigation efforts.

"Finally, China’s government has gone to great lengths to silence dissent. It has intimidated journalists and employed a variety of means to attempt to censor and punish U.S. citizens, residents, and companies for exercising their rights to free expression. I mentioned earlier Operation Fox Hunt — the PRC’s illegal effort to coerce the return of certain Chinese dissidents to China — which is just one example."

Then Olsen explained why DOJ was scrapping the China Initiative:

"We have heard concerns from the civil rights community that the 'China Initiative' fueled a narrative of intolerance and bias. To many, that narrative suggests that the Justice Department treats people from China or of Chinese descent differently. The rise in anti-Asian hate crime and hate incidents only heightens these concerns...

"There are also increasing concerns from the academic and scientific community about the department’s pursuit of certain research grant fraud cases. We have heard that these prosecutions — and the public narrative they create — can lead to a chilling atmosphere for scientists and scholars that damages the scientific enterprise in this country.

"Safeguarding the integrity and transparency of research institutions is a matter of national security. But so is ensuring that we continue to attract the best and the brightest researchers and scholars to our country from all around the world — and that we all continue to honor our tradition of academic openness and collaboration.

"In light of these concerns, we began a review soon after I took office...While I remain focused on the evolving, significant threat that the government of China poses, I have concluded that this initiative is not the right approach. Instead, the current threat landscape demands a broader approach.

"I want to emphasize my belief that the department’s actions have been driven by genuine national security concerns. But by grouping cases under the China Initiative rubric, we helped give rise to a harmful perception that the department applies a lower standard to investigate and prosecute criminal conduct related to that country or that we in some way view people with racial, ethnic or familial ties to China differently..."

Olsen said the DOJ's National Security Division would be "relentless in defending our country from China," but instead of calling it the China Initiative, DOJ would lump China in with other hostile nations, through a so-called "Strategy for Countering Nation-State Threats."

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