Harvard removes GOP lawmaker from advisory committee over election claims

Greg Nash

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) has been removed from an advisory committee to Harvard University’s Institute of Politics as a result of her peddling false claims about voter fraud, the school announced on Tuesday.

“Over the past several days, [director] Mark Gearan and I have spent a good deal of time considering the role at the Institute of Politics of our colleague Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, whom I have included in this message,” dean Douglas Elmendorf wrote to the committee. “Mark and I have read public materials, listened to students and alumni, and consulted with colleagues at Harvard on this important matter.”

Elmendorf asked Stefanik to resign from the advisory committee, which he said she refused to do. 

“My request was not about political parties, political ideology, or her choice of candidate for president. Rather, in my assessment, Elise has made public assertions about voter fraud in November’s presidential election that have no basis in evidence, and she has made public statements about court actions related to the election that are incorrect,” Elmendorf said. “Moreover, these assertions and statements do not reflect policy disagreements but bear on the foundations of the electoral process through which this country’s leaders are chosen.”

In a statement to The Hill, Stefanik said the decision to remove her from the committee shows a willingness from Harvard to “cower and cave to the woke Left.” 

“The Ivory Tower’s march toward a monoculture of like-minded, intolerant liberal views demonstrates the sneering disdain for everyday Americans and will instill a culture of fear for students who will understand that a conservative viewpoint will not be tolerated and will be silenced,” Stefanik said. “I relish the opportunity to stand up for freedom of speech and freedom of thought on college campuses across America. Congratulations Harvard, the entire Board of the Institute of Politics now consists only of Joe Biden voters – how reflective of America.”

Stefanik, an ally to President Trump in the House, has repeatedly suggested widespread voter fraud led to an unfair election that went against Trump. 

Stefanik also joined more than 100 House members in objecting to the certification of Biden’s Electoral College victory when a joint session of Congress met to certify them last week. 

“I do not take this action lightly. I am acting to protect our democratic process,” Stefanik said last week. 

A mob of angry Trump supporters stormed the Capitol Building on Wednesday in a bid to stop certification of Biden’s win, an event Stefanik condemned but did not allow to deter her from objecting to the election’s result after the attack. 

“Tens of millions of Americans are concerned that the 2020 election featured unconstitutional overreach by unelected state officials and judges ignoring state election laws,” she said after the riot. “We can and we should peacefully discuss these concerns.”

After the riots, hundreds of Harvard students, faculty and alumni petitioned the school’s Institute of Politics to disaffiliate with the congresswoman from New York’s north country who graduated from Harvard in 2006. 

“We knew that Representative Stefanik was someone who had a position at Harvard, who was on the Senior Advisory Committee for the IOP, and so we thought let’s try to get her off,” Megan O. Corrigan, an alumna who authored the petition, told The Harvard Crimson. “This is someone who should not have any legitimacy at this point, and Harvard is lending her legitimacy.”

Tags Capitol breach Donald Trump Elise Stefanik Harvard Joe Biden riot

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