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House Republicans launch inquiry into Harvard, MIT following antisemitism hearing

BOSTON — House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik announced an investigation into Harvard, MIT and the University of Pennsylvania Thursday following a controversial congressional hearing on antisemitism earlier this week.

“After this week’s pathetic and morally bankrupt testimony by university presidents when answering my questions, the Education and Workforce Committee is launching an official Congressional investigation with the full force of subpoena power into Penn, MIT, & Harvard and others,” Rep. Stefanik said. “We will use our full Congressional authority to hold these schools accountable for their failure on the global stage.”

Penn President Liz Magill, Harvard President Claudine Gay and MIT President Sally Kornbluth were grilled during a five-hour hearing Tuesday into how their institutions had responded to instances of antisemitism on campuses. Their carefully worded responses faced swift backlash from Republican and some Democratic lawmakers as well as the White House.

Much of the blowback centered on a heated line of questioning from Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., who repeatedly asked whether “calling for the genocide of Jews” would violate each university’s code of conduct.

Gay responded to the question in a similar manner, saying that when “speech crosses into conduct, that violates our policies.” Kornbluth responded that she had not heard calling for the genocide of Jews on MIT’s campus, and that speech “targeted at individuals, not making public statements,” would be considered harassment.

Harvard released a statement Thursday that said it would cooperate with the investigation.

“Harvard’s work to combat antisemitism in our community is advancing with the highest commitment and attention from University leaders. The University looks forward to sharing information with the Committee as it pursues its inquiry,” the statement said.

On Thursday, a group claiming to represent Jewish students said they hired a plane carrying the message “Harvard hates Jews” to circle over Harvard and other Ivy League campuses over the next “several days.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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