The Department of Education has uncovered billions of dollars in unreported donations to American colleges from China and Russia, the Department told House Republicans during a briefing and in a letter this week.
The DOE has so far found $6 billion in unreported donations as a part of House Republicans’ inquiry into U.S. colleges under investigation for violating Section 117 of the Higher Education Act of 1965, Townhall reported Friday. Section 117 prohibits an Institution of Higher Education from falsely reporting or failing to report foreign gifts of $250,000 or more.
According to a letter obtained by the news outlet, the DOE’s Office of the General Counsel wrote: “Some IHE leaders are starting to acknowledge the threat of foreign academic espionage and have been working with federal law enforcement to address gaps in reporting and transparency. However, the evidence suggests massive investments of foreign money have bred dependency and distorted the decision making, mission, and values of too many institutions.”
The letter went on to state that the DOE shares Congress’ concerns over the potential that foreign adversaries could use “strategic investments” in order to turn American colleges into “indoctrination platforms.”
The inquiry is part of a wider effort to probe the Chinese Communist Party’s influence within the United States. Earlier in April, Attorney General William Barr claimed that China is in a “full-court blitzkrieg” against the U.S., part of which was the strategic infiltration of American universities.
Also in the letter, the DOE noted that certain academic institutions have been dragging their feet in assisting the investigation.
“The Department has yet to receive critical information needed to confirm the accuracy of previously submitted Section 117 reports. Certain institutions have yet to produce requested emails, metadata, and other information regarding business relationships with, and faculty funding from, Chinese, Middle Eastern, and Russian foreign sources,” the letter stated.
Those institutions have reportedly claimed Freedom of Information Act exemptions and privileges in order to resist turning over records.
During the briefing, the DOE allegedly told House Committee staffers that evidence has been found suggesting some colleges based decisions on donations they received.
Speaking in regard to the news, a GOP source told Townhall: “This is not a partisan problem. This is an American problem.”