At least ten senior Biden administration officials have either worked at or were recruited from the president’s think tank, the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, where a trove of classified documents was recently discovered.
Former Secretaries of State Antony Blinken and Colin Kahl, as well as White House counselor Steven Richetti, all worked at the Penn Biden Center; a foreign policy think tank opened by President Biden in 2018. Kahl was a consultant at the core and worked closely with Blinken and Richetti, both managing directors.
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO, Policy Spencer Boyer, was a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council. Strategic advisor Jeffrey Prescott served as the U.S. ambassador’s deputy. Ariana Berengaut, who was a senior adviser to the national security adviser, was a director. Michael Carpenter, the U.S. representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, was a managing director, and Juan Gonzalez, a special assistant to the president.
After serving as deputy secretary of state for management and resources for the past month, Brian McKeon has returned to his former role as a senior director at the think tank.
Carpenter was paid $208,183, Kahl was paid $185,316, Prescott was paid $85,714, and Blinken was paid $79,666 by the Penn Biden Center in the first six months of 2019. These figures were reported in financial disclosures filed with the Office of Government Ethics.
Biden also appointed David Cohen, a former chair of the University of Pennsylvania’s board of trustees, to represent Canada, and Amy Gutmann, a former president of the university, to represent Germany.
At the grand opening ceremony for the Penn Biden Center, both Gutmann and Cohen were in attendance; during an interview with Andrea Mitchell (an alumna of the University of Pennsylvania), Biden made a passing reference to his previous interaction with Gutmann.
Former Secretary of State John Kerry, disgraced former Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd, and current director of Biden’s Domestic Policy Council Susan Rice were among the other notable guests at the Penn Biden grand opening ceremony.
It has been suggested that UPenn has accepted tens of millions of dollars from Chinese donors since the Penn Biden Center first opened. In October 2020, a government watchdog organization called the National Legal and Policy Center opened a case with the Department of Justice, enquiring about the $22 million in anonymous donations earmarked from China.
The White House announced Monday night that undercover agents uncovered classified documents from Biden’s time as vice president at the Penn Biden Center in November. After that, the president’s lawyers gave the records to the National Archives and Records Administration.
Just as a similar situation involving former President Donald Trump’s handling of classified documents was revealed months ago, classified documents were discovered in Biden’s possession. FBI agents provided a search warrant at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate to recover any remaining classified documents after he and the Department of Justice had been at odds for months.
In November, Garland appointed career prosecutor Jack Smith to investigate whether Trump broke the law by removing classified documents from the White House when he left office in 2021.
There was radio silence from the White House and the Penn Biden Center responding to journalist inquiries.