Lawmakers: Harvard Did Not Comply With Antisemitism Investigation Subpoena

The antisemitism probe stems from student protests following the latest Israel-Hamas war.
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Published on March 11, 2024
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  • A House committee launched an antisemitism probe targeting Harvard in January.
  • While Harvard has submitted some documents, the committee chairwoman says they don't meet expectations.
  • Harvard had until early March to comply with the subpoena.
  • Chairwoman Virginia Foxx said Harvard did not adequately respond to the subpoena.

The leader of a congressional committee that subpoenaed high-ranking officials at Harvard University regarding an ongoing investigation into antisemitism at the Ivy League institution says the school has yet to adequately comply.

The Education and the Workforce Committee sent subpoena letters to Harvard administrators on Feb. 16 asking for additional documents related to its antisemitism probe. Chairwoman Virginia Foxx, a Republican representing North Carolina, said in a statement that despite the university providing over 2,500 documents since January, Harvard has failed to produce "priority" documents to aid in the investigation.

"Given Harvard's vast resources and the urgency with which it should be addressing the scourge of antisemitism, the evidence suggests that the school is obstructing this investigation and is willing to tolerate the proliferation of antisemitism on its campus," Foxx wrote in the subpoena cover letter.

"The committee must now compel production of all responsive documents."

She later claimed Harvard did not adequately comply with the committee's subpoena.

On Feb. 7, Foxx threatened to subpoena Harvard unless the university provided "priority documents" by Feb. 14.

In her Feb. 16 statement, she said Harvard did provide additional documents in response to that threat. However, those documents failed to adequately address two of the four priority questions her committee addressed to the university, she said. Foxx added that Harvard's documents included "apparent omissions and questionable redactions."

Over 40% of the documents Harvard provided were already publicly available, she said.

Harvard had until March 4 to comply with the subpoena. After the deadline passed, Foxx said that Harvard's response to the subpoena was "unsatisfactory" and that the committee is weighing "an appropriate response to Harvard's malfeasance."

"I don't know if it's arrogance, ineptness, or indifference that's guiding Harvard. Regardless, its actions to date are shameful," she said in a statement. "Harvard has absolutely failed to comply in good faith with the committee's subpoena for information about antisemitism on its campus."

Foxx added that many of the documents Harvard submitted were duplicates. Additionally, some documents were heavily redacted, which she said "made several documents useless."

The Education and the Workforce Committee subpoenaed the three following officials at Harvard:

  • Harvard Corp. Senior Fellow Penny Pritzker
  • Interim President Alan Garber
  • Harvard Management Company CEO N.P. Narvekar

The subpoena letters demanded 11 types of priority documents. They include all reports of antisemitic acts on campus since the start of 2021, and all documents and communications related to pro-Palestine protests at Harvard since Oct. 7, 2023.

Foxx's investigation stems from recent events related to the latest Israel-Hamas war, which has become a lightning rod issue at college campuses across the U.S.

The discourse reached a boiling point when the presidents of Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) appeared Dec. 5 before the Committee on Education and the Workforce to discuss antisemitism on college campuses.

Harvard University President Claudine Gay and University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill resigned shortly after, in large part due to Republican backlash to their testimonies.