House Education Committee threatens to subpoena Harvard for antisemitism docs

Rep. Virginia Foxx said Harvard is stonewalling its investigation while Sen. Lindsey Graham is alleging Rutgers is platforming terrorist sympathizers

Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Virginia Foxx, (R-NC)

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), who chairs the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, is threatening to subpoena Harvard for documents related to its handling of antisemitism on its campus.

Foxx and the committee had requested documents from Harvard as part of the committee’s investigation into antisemitism on campuses, but said the documents the university produced were incomplete and nonresponsive to the request. Foxx on Wednesday gave Harvard’s leadership a week to provide further documents or face a subpoena.

“Somehow, almost two months after the Committee first informed Harvard of its intent to request production of specific documents, and a month after the Committee provided particularized requests, Harvard provided only a single meaningful document to the Committee in its antisemitism investigation,” she said. “Harvard’s failure to produce documents requested by the Committee in a timely manner is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”

Foxx demanded all minutes from all meetings of the Harvard Corporation, Board of Overseers and Harvard Management Company; all communications involving the Corporation and Overseers regarding antisemitism since 2021; documents relating to disciplinary processes for incidents of antisemitism; all documents and communications relating the President’s Task Force on Antisemitism; and extensive documents relating to the findings of the Antisemitism Advisory Group and responses to those recommendations.

Foxx further slammed Harvard for redacting documents that are already available publicly in its production to the committee, and for providing what she described as highly abbreviated or redacted meeting minutes about Harvard leadership’s discussions of antisemitism issues on campus. 

Separately, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) led nine Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on letters seeking information about the funders behind the Rutgers University Center for Security, Race and Rights. 

The lawmakers said the center has provided a platform for supporters of terrorism, including guest speaker Sami Al-Arian, who was convicted of providing material support to Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The center’s director reposted denialism of the Oct. 7 attack, and the center has hosted individuals who have celebrated the attack or sought to blame it on Israel. 

“The work of the Center, its promotion of terrorist sympathizers, and its platforming of radical ideologues is troubling to us as members of the Senate Judiciary Committee,” the senators wrote. “The Committee has a long history of working on legislation meant to root out support for terrorism, and to compensate its victims.”

The lawmakers questioned whether the center has received federal funds, New Jersey taxpayer funds or funding from foreign governments. They wrote a separate letter to the law firm Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler about its sponsorship of a law fellowship through the center.

Also this week, Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Don Bacon (R-NE) wrote to the Treasury Department asking it to investigate U.S. colleges and universities that failed to disclose information on $13 billion in contributions from foreign regimes, questioning whether such donations have helped to fund “antisemitic protest groups” on U.S. college campuses. 

Gottheimer questioned Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on the issue at a hearing this week.

Subscribe now to
the Daily Kickoff

The politics and business news you need to stay up to date, delivered each morning in a must-read newsletter.