The Biden Institute, a research center at the University of Delaware that President-elect Joe Biden helped found in 2017, has not agreed to disclose all of its donors once Biden takes office, Politico reported Monday.
Some donors who have contributed to the Institute’s multi-million dollar fundraising campaign could be looking for favors from the Biden administration, Politico reported. The University of Delaware began a fundraising campaign for the Biden Institute in 2017 with the goal of raising $20 million. (RELATED: Biden Campaign Announces Record $383 Million Monthly Fundraising Haul)
University of Delaware spokesperson Peter Bothum told Politico that the University expects to continue fundraising “for years to come.” They have not yet reached their $20 million goal, Bothum added.
“The Biden Institute…has no plans to disclose its donors after the president-elect takes office,” – https://t.co/8rmxpijNjp
— Eliana Johnson (@elianayjohnson) January 18, 2021
All donors who gave more than $100,000 are disclosed by the University of Delaware, and “anything earmarked for the institute would be part of that, because it’s part of the university,” Bothum told Politico in a statement.
“We are in the process of reviewing our policies regarding gifts pertaining to the Biden Institute and Biden School of Public Policy in order to comply with federal guidelines while Joe Biden is president,” he added. A university spokesperson also told the Washington Free Beacon last year that the Biden Institute was not required to disclose donors, and so it would not do so.
Ethics experts have argued that the research center should disclose all of its donors and the Biden family should sever ties to the Institute.
“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. (RELATED: Biden Refunds Donation From Barbara Boxer After Registering As Foreign Agent For Chinese Firm)
Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, currently serves as the co-chair for the Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children, which was founded after then-Vice President Joe Biden’s son died in 2015. Painter said that Hunter should follow Joe Biden’s daughter Ashley Biden, who recently stepped down from the board, and cut ties with the group.
Hunter said in 2016 that Hillary Clinton’s daughter Chelsea Clinton should cut ties with the Clinton foundation if her mother was elected president, Painter noted.
“I just don’t think it’s worth it,” he said according to the report. “Why compromise the presidency? Why create an issue for the right-wing media to grab onto?”
“Clearly when you’re president you need to sever all ties,” Meredith McGehee, the executive director of political reform group Issue One, said according to the report.
McGhee said that all the groups in the Biden network should disclose all donors going back five years.