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$54 million in Chinese gifts donated to Penn, home of Biden Center. Ethics watchdog group calls for federal probe into Hunter Biden's deals with China.

Teresa Kroeger/Getty Images for World Food Program USA

An ethics watchdog group is calling for the federal government to expand its investigation into Hunter Biden. The group demands that the U.S government also examine tens of millions of anonymous donations from China to the University of Pennsylvania – where there is an academic center named for his father: President Joe Biden.

The National Legal and Policy Center – an ethics watchdog group – wants to find out if relationships between the Bidens and these organizations violate the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

The original NLPC’s 12-page complaint filed in October 2020 with the Department of Justice states:

The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) hereby files this complaint against Hunter Biden; the Truman National Security Project; and the University of Pennsylvania and its Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, because there is reason to believe that one or more of them or their agents may have failed to register as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA), 22 U.S.C. 611, et seq. regarding their political activities on behalf of a foreign country or principal. NLPC requests a full investigation of this matter, which we believe may lead to other civil or criminal violations of federal law, including conspiracy, money laundering, tax evasion, and wire fraud, that may have been committed by Hunter Biden and his associates, including his uncle James Biden, and his father Joe Biden.

The Department of Justice defines the Foreign Agents Registration Act as:

FARA requires certain agents of foreign principals who are engaged in political activities or other activities specified under the statute to make periodic public disclosure of their relationship with the foreign principal, as well as activities, receipts and disbursements in support of those activities. Disclosure of the required information facilitates evaluation by the government and the American people of the activities of such persons in light of their function as foreign agents.

The National Legal and Policy Center is calling on U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware David C. Weiss to investigate the Truman National Security Project and the University of Pennsylvania – including the school's Biden Center.

In February 2018, Penn started the Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement – a Washington D.C.-based policy center. Antony Blinken – whom Biden named as his Secretary of State – served as the Biden Center's managing director until 2019.

The Truman National Security Project is a "left-leaning Washington D.C.-based think tank that conducts training in national security issues and advocates the U.S. take a more active role in promoting liberal policies as part of the nation’s foreign policy," according to InfluenceWatch.

The NLPC reported on the ties between the Truman Security Project and Burisma – the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, where Biden was reportedly paid $83,333 for "consulting services," despite previously not having any experience in the energy field.

"Hunter served as a board member until 2019 on the liberal Truman National Security Project along with Sally Painter, COO of Blue Star Strategies, a lobbying firm retained by Burisma to promote its interests before the State Department," the NLPC stated. "The Truman Project, which endorsed Kamala Harris in 2016 for her Senate race, failed to note on its 2017 tax filing that Hunter and Painter had a business relationship with each other through Burisma."

The complaint cites an alleged text message from Hunter Biden to his business partner Tony Bobulinski on May 1, 2017, regarding their client CEFC – a state-controlled Chinese energy company.

“We don’t want to have to register as foreign agents. . . which is much more expansive than people who should know choose not to know,” Hunter wrote.

In another reported email sent on April 17, 2015, Burisma advisor Vadym Pozharski thanks Hunter for arranging a meeting with his father – then-Vice President Joe Biden.

“U.S. Attorney Weiss should pursue the larger Biden family influence-selling operation without any political pressure from the Merrick Garland Justice Department,” said Paul Kamenar – NLPC's counsel – who drafted the complaint.

The New York Post reported, "The Ivy League college raked in a total of $54.6 million from 2014 through June 2019 in donations from China, including $23.1 million in anonymous gifts starting in 2016, according to public records.

The National Legal and Policy Center calls on U.S. Attorney Weiss to examine the $67.6 million in gifts and contracts sent from China to the University of Pennsylvania between Jan. 1, 2013, and June 30, 2019. The University of Pennsylvania received the third-highest amount of funding from groups in mainland China, behind Harvard and the University of Southern California, according to Bloomberg.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported, "Financial institutions, collectively, were among China’s leading gift-givers to Penn. Six banks in China gave donations or contracts to Penn that were collectively worth $13.6 million. Another big donor — E-House (China) Holdings Limited, a real estate services company — gave $6.3 million in gifts."

The outlet noted that while China gave the most donations to Penn, the school was given $257.9 million in foreign money during that time period. The Philadelphia Inquirer highlighted that the total could be higher since the Department of Education said that 10 schools have disclosed $3.6 billion in "previously unreported" foreign money, including the University of Pennsylvania.

"The watchdog group alleged that donations from China ramped up after the Penn Biden Center opened in Feb. 2018, including a single anonymous donation of $14.8 million," Fox News reported. "The high-priced donations from China continued, with the university receiving over $27 million in donations in 2018 and over $26 million in 2019. Almost $16 million of that money from 2018 was given anonymously, and $6 million in 2019 was also anonymous."

President Biden was paid more than $900,000 by Penn between 2017 and 2019, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. There is no evidence that Biden ever taught any classes at the university, but the Inquirer reported that Biden appeared at Q&As, panel discussions, and public conversations.

Douglas Webber – an Associate Professor in the Economics at Temple University – told the Inquirer of Biden's deal with the school, "(Teaching) is not the value that Penn is hoping to get from having him associated with them. They’re wanting prestige, they’re wanting to brag about this to donors. Penn plays with big money donors, and if this moves the needle even a little bit in terms of getting a big donation, then it’s instantly worth the investment."

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