Comer calls hearing to grill DC mayor, police over GWU protests

House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) on Wednesday announced a hearing set for May 8 focused on the pro-Palestinian protests at the George Washington University (GWU), calling Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser and the chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) as witnesses.

“The House Oversight Committee is deeply concerned over reports indicating the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department rejected George Washington University’s request for help in removing the radical, antisemitic, and unlawful protestors occupying the campus and surrounding public lands,” Comer said in the statement.

GWU has already suspended multiple students after they would not leave the encampment that popped up last week, but the protest, one of dozens that has emerged on U.S. college campuses in opposition to Israel’s handling of its war in Gaza, has not been disbanded.

The Washington Post reported last week that MPD refused to confront the encampment despite a request from the private university.

Two officials familiar with the discussions said the police were worried about how it would look due to the small number of peaceful protesters in the area.

“MPD’s refusal to assist GWU in their efforts to protect the Jewish student body is disturbing and unacceptable. To fulfill our responsibility to oversee the District of Columbia and its affairs, the Committee will hold a hearing next week and seek answers from local leaders on steps being taken to ensure this unlawful activity ends,” Comer said.

The hearing announcement comes as multiple Republican and Democratic House lawmakers visited GWU on Wednesday to speak to leadership and see the encampment in person.

Republicans have repeatedly denounced the college demonstrations as antisemitic, an accusation that the protesters deny.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.