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The Biden Institute, a policy research center at the University of Delaware founded by the incoming commander-in-chief, will not disclose its donors once Joe Biden becomes president, according to a new report.
The research center was one of a number of organizations founded by the former veep after he left office in 2017 and is in the middle of a $20 million fundraising campaign trading off its famous namesake.
But unlike other foundations and groups carrying Biden’s name, which were shut down in 2019 when he announced his White House bid, the Biden Institute will continue to exist and fundraise as the 78-year-old takes the Oval Office Wednesday — sparking concern that donors trying to curry favor with the administration will continue funneling money to the organization, Politico reported Monday.
In an email to the publication, a Biden transition official said that the incoming administration was taking steps to prevent any real or perceived “ethically compromising positions.”
“The administration will adhere to high ethical standards and ensure any affiliations with outside groups will not result in special access or treatment,” the official said.
But a spokesman for the University of Delaware said in a 2019 interview with the Washington Free Beacon that the Biden Institute was not compelled to make its list of donors public and had chosen not to do so.
The Penn Biden Center, another foreign policy center opened by Biden at the University of Pennsylvania in 2018, will also keep its donor list secret.
According to analysis by the Free Beacon, foreign donations to the University of Pennsylvania tripled between 2016 and 2020, surging from $31 million to over $100 million, with China the biggest donor.
The Biden family has been dogged by allegations of impropriety and charges that Biden’s scandal-scarred son Hunter Biden swapped access to his veep father to land multi-million deals in China and Ukraine, as first revealed by The Post.
Another group founded by Biden, the Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children, founded after his eldest son’s death in 2015, will begin making public its donors on Wednesday, after he is sworn into office.
But ethics experts said the family needed to cut ties with every organization to avoid drawing allegations of wrongdoing.
“They should at the very least disclose their donors, and I think the Biden family should at the very least take their name off if they’re going to continue to raise money,” Richard Painter, the chief ethics lawyer in President George W. Bush’s White House, told Politico.
“I just don’t think it’s worth it,” he added.
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