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Foxx, Committee Republicans Demand Transparency from Education Department on UPenn Classified Documents Scandal

Today, Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), Rep. Michelle Steel (R-CA), and Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to conduct oversight of the agency’s failure to investigate the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) for holding classified documents on a Biden-affiliated campus building. Specifically, the lawmakers raised concerns about UPenn’s involvement and whether its mishandling of such sensitive documents poses a national security threat.
In the letter, the Members write: “We write to you regarding the recent revelations surrounding classified documents held at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement (“Center”). 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.”
The Members continue: “Coincidentally, less than a month prior to Attorney General 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). … [F]ollowing 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.”
The Members conclude: “Your actions in light of these revelations are yet another example of this administration’s failure to protect students, institutions, and taxpayers against threats posed by our foreign adversaries on college campuses.”
Read the full letter here.


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