Secretary of State Blinken, ex-Penn Biden Center director, says 'no knowledge' of classified docs

Blinken said he "would cooperate fully" with the Justice Department's probe into the classified documents.

Updated: January 18, 2023 - 9:49am

Secretary of State Antony Blinken say he had "no knowledge" of classified documents where at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, where he served as managing director for two years, following recents disclosures about the existence of the materials. 

"I was surprised to learn that there were any government records taken to the Penn Biden Center. I had no knowledge of it at the time," Blinken told reporters Tuesday. He also said he "would cooperate fully" with the Justice Department's review of the matter.

Similarly, Biden said last week that he was "surprised" to learn about the classified documents from his time as vice president found in November in his former office at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, D.C. The White House has confirmed two subsequent batches of classified records were found in Biden's primary Delaware residence.

Blinken served as the managing director for the Penn Biden center from May 2017 through June 2019, with a salary of more than $79,000 for his work in "academic research and program management," according to a government ethics filing

The Republican-led House Oversight Committee on Wednesday demanded the University of Pennsylvania release information about millions of dollars in anonymous Chinese donations to the center.

"The American people deserve to know whether the Chinese Communist Party, through Chinese companies, influenced potential Biden Administration policies with large, anonymous donations to UPenn and the Penn Biden Center," committee Chairman Rep. James Comer wrote to university President M. Elizabeth Magill.