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HomeTop StoriesHouse Republicans subpoena Harvard for 'unacceptable' response to antisemitism probe

House Republicans subpoena Harvard for ‘unacceptable’ response to antisemitism probe

The House Education and the Workforce Committee subpoenaed Harvard University for obstructing its weekslong antisemitism investigation.

In an unprecedented fashion, the Republican-led education committee subpoenaed a university for the first time in its more than 150-year history, according to a spokesperson.

The committee sent subpoenas to Harvard Corporation Senior Fellow Penny Pritzker, Interim President Dr. Alan Garber and Harvard Management Company’s Chief Executive Officer N.P. Narvekar for failing to produce “priority documents” related to the probe, which started days after the committee heard “concerning” testimony from the presidents of three prominent universities during a December hearing, according to the committee.

Harvard has been given a new deadline of March 4 at 5:00 p.m. to submit key materials related to all antisemitic acts or incidents since Jan. 1, 2021, according to the subpoena.

The committee says its requesting documents that date back far enough for it to conduct a thorough investigation of the school’s handling of alleged antisemitism.

“Harvard’s continued failure to satisfy the Committee’s requests is unacceptable,” Education Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx said in a statement, obtained by ABC News. “I will not tolerate delay and defiance of our investigation while Harvard’s Jewish students continue to endure the firestorm of antisemitism that has engulfed its campus.”

A Harvard spokesperson told ABC News in a statement “Antisemitism has no place in the Harvard community.” The spokesperson called the subpoenas “unfortunate” because the university has provided “fulsome” responses across ten submissions that directly address key areas of inquiry by the committee.

The committee determined subpoenas were warranted after a thorough review of the school’s latest submission of documents. However, Foxx said she is extremely disappointed with Harvard because nearly half of the documents the school submitted have been publicly available. Among the materials requested in the subpoenas, the committee is asking for all communications relating to the alleged harassment of a Jewish student at a “die-in” protest, pro-Palestinian protests and an “Israel Apartheid Week.”

Republican Conference Chair and Harvard alum Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., pressed the presidents during the hearing, calling their testimony “morally bankrupt” and requesting their resignations.

Penn’s Liz Magill was the first university president to resign after the Dec. 5, 2023 hearing. Penn is under investigation for the school’s pattern of “deeply troubling” events and incidents of antisemitic vandalism and harassment at the school, according to the committee.

Harvard’s Claudine Gay resigned due to mounting pressure after her testimony as well. Pritzker and Harvard Corporation, one of the school’s governing boards, unanimously affirmed its support for Gay amid backlash over her responses at the congressional hearing.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology backed its president, Sally Kornbluth, following the backlash after the hearing. The committee is investigating the school’s policies and disciplinary measures, although the committee hasn’t formally requested documents from that university yet.

The committee launched an antisemitism investigation into Columbia University and Barnard College, its affiliate all-women’s school, on Monday.

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights also launched investigations into Harvard and Columbia earlier this month.

ABC News has reached out to Harvard University.

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