Both Texas A&M and Georgetown University are involved in a financial investigation by President Trump’s administration for allegedly not reporting foreign gifts and contracts to the government.
Under federal law, colleges are required to share their earnings from foreign sources with the government. Most recently, the Trump administration has been monitoring the international money flow towards American colleges; two in particular have caught their attention. A&M and Georgetown have been asked to disclose financial records as both universities are suspected of not reporting all of their foreign gifts and contracts to the federal government.
On June 13, the two universities received a letter from the U.S. Education Department ordering them two universities to disclose their foreign funding, warning that the universities could be referred to the attorney general in order to comply. The letters claim that while the universities have reported their foreign funding, they have not shared all of the information surrounding the matter.
A&M and Georgetown have said they take the matter very seriously and hope to resolve the issue quickly. Georgetown has reportedly received more than $415 million from foreign sources since 2012, while A&M has received $285 million since 2014, according to the Associated Press. For both universities, most of the reported foreign money came from the Qatar campuses that they have established overseas.
According to the Associated Press, who have obtained the letters sent to the institutions, investigators are ordering disclosure of funding surrounding the Chinese companies, Huawei and ZTE. These tech companies have previously been labeled as a national threat by some U.S. officials.
China isn’t the only country involved in the investigation. Georgetown, specifically, is being investigated about receiving funding from Russia and Saudi Arabia, which includes the Russian cybersecurity company of Kaspersky.
According to Politico, these investigations come after a bipartisan report from the Senate that accused American colleges of not reporting the money given to them by the Chinese government. Congress has held multiple hearings of the potential spying performed by the Chinese when it comes to the relationship between Chinese firms and American colleges.
More colleges will most likely be questioned, with universities having to report foreign donations that exceed $250,000 in one year, according to NBC Dallas-Fort Worth. The Trump administration looks to continue heavily monitoring foreign funding, viewing the matter as a national security concern.