Biden classified memo drama reignites concern about first family’s ties to Beijing, China influence

China, America's biggest adversary, continues to push CCP policy on college campuses with hopes of befriending U.S. lawmakers and powerbrokers.

Published: January 10, 2023 3:14pm

Updated: January 11, 2023 1:09pm

Recent revelations surrounding classified documents found in Joe Biden's private think tank office have not only turned the Mar-a-Lago raid investigation on its head, it also has revived scrutiny of the many ties China has to America's first family and its effort to use academia to spy in America.

The classified memos from the Obama administration, disclosed on Monday, were actually found last November inside the offices Biden used at the Penn-Biden Center, a think tank setup by the Ivy League University of Pennsylvania (Penn). 

Long before the documents were found, the Penn-Biden Center was the focus of a watchdog complaint because its parent university had received large sums of money — estimated to be at least $54 million — in the time period around when Biden joined the group. This raised the specter of Chinese donors having helped fund the nearly $1 million in personal pay Biden received from the think tank.

The center, which was announced in 2017 and opened one year later, was set up the same year that Biden's son Hunter was creating a joint venture with Chinese officials in a company called CEFC to pursue natural gas deals within the United States which would have benefitted the communist nation. 

Hunter Biden even offered his father a set of keys to the office for the new venture in 2017, the emails showed.

The Biden family drew scrutiny from Congressional investigators for receiving a no-interest, forgivable loan from the Chinese partners, according to emails found on a Hunter Biden laptop, which was seized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2019.

By 2017, Biden family dealings with China were far more extensive than just the CEFC. Hunter Biden took a trip aboard Air Force II, his father's vice presidential jet, in December 2013 to create an investment fund with Chinese officials. In 2015, he helped facilitate the sale of an American firm called Heninges that produced sensitive U.S. military jet parts.

The web of Chinese deals and contacts — one of Hunter Biden's Chinese associates Patrick Ho was eventually arrested and convicted — has many in the GOP now believing China's monetary contributions to Penn were no accident. It may even be possible that China could have accessed sensitive information from the Bidens as a result. 

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer raised that very issue on Tuesday in a letter to the White House. 

"President Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, also planned to share an office with an individual affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party, which raises questions about who else had access to these highly sensitive documents because of President Biden's 'totally irresponsible' actions," Comer wrote.

"Any amount of money from China should be examined closely by all branches of the USG," former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes told JustTheNews.

"The fact that this is in the tens of millions makes it even more alarming," said Nunes. "I find it hard to believe the DOJ and FBI wouldn't know about this amount of money and who's connected to it. Follow the money!"

This controversy comes at an inconvenient time for Democrats, as the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to establish a subcommittee to investigate U.S.-China strategic competition. The final tally was 365-65. New Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was credited with spearheading the effort to massage the wording of the proposal so it would be broad enough to garner broad bipartisan support. 

"I've heard my colleagues on both sides say that the threat posed by Communist China is serious," McCarthy said, according to The Hill. "I fully agree. This is an issue that transcends political parties. And creating the select committee on China is our best avenue for addressing it."

Biden claims he had no knowledge of how the documents ended up in his office.

You can follow Nick on Twitter @NGivasDC

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