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House Education chair amps up pressure on Harvard, threatens to expand antisemitism probe to Columbia, Cornell

House Education Committee Chair Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) is threatening Harvard University with a subpoena as part of her panel’s antisemitism probe, along with potentially expanding the investigation to other schools.

Foxx said Monday in an interview with CNN that Columbia University and Cornell University could be the next schools probed.

“We are going to do an examination of any universities that fail to address antisemitism. We are quite well aware of Cornell and Columbia,” she said.

House Republicans have been adamantly pursuing antisemitism investigations after the then-presidents of Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology refused to say in an Education Committee hearing if calls for the genocide of Jewish people would be considered harassment on campus. The heads of Harvard and Penn have since stepped down.

Columbia’s president was invited to the hearing to testify on campus antisemitism last fall but said she had a scheduling conflict and did not attend.

“We have been in contact with Chairwoman Foxx and her Committee going back to last fall. We look forward to continuing our cooperation with the Chairwoman and her colleagues toward our shared goal of combating antisemitism and other forms of hate,” a Columbia spokesperson said.

Last week, Harvard submitted documents to the House after Foxx requested information about antisemitism on campus, how students who commit antisemitism are disciplined and what the school has done to protect students.

Foxx called the documents Harvard turned over “woefully inadequate,” according to The Harvard Crimson.

“Rather than answering the Committee’s request in a substantive manner, Harvard has chosen to provide letters from nonprofits and student handbooks, many of which are already publicly available,” she wrote. “This is unacceptable.”

“Harvard must produce the remaining documents in a timely manner, or risk compulsory measures,” she added.

A Harvard spokesperson said in a statement that the school denounces antisemitism and is focused on keeping students safe.

“Harvard is committed to cooperating with the Committee’s inquiries,” the spokesperson said, adding, “We intend to continue to engage with the Committee in a dialogue to respond to their ongoing requests.”

The Hill has reached out to Cornell University for comment.

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