Stefanik Accused of Plagiarism

( – Hours after denouncing the president of Harvard University as “a plagiarist,” Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York was accused of plagiarism herself.

After the accusations against Harvard University President Claudine Gay of plagiarism, the university released a statement standing behind Gay, who received unanimous support from the Harvard Board of Trustees.

The Harvard Corporation statement published on Dec. 11 reaffirmed “support” for Gay’s “continued leadership of Harvard University.” The university claims “extensive deliberations” affirmed its “confidence” that the president “is the right leader to help” the Harvard community “heal” and “address… serious societal issues” facing the university.

Stefanik opposed the university’s decision to support Gay, calling it “a moral failure” of the school’s leadership as well as “the highest levels” of “higher education leadership.” She added that “the only change” Harvard “made to their code of conduct” that fails “to condemn calls for genocide” against Jews was “to allow a plagiarist” to remain president.

Only a few hours later, the New York congresswoman was facing her own plagiarism accusations from Democratic Rep. Kathy Manning of North Carolina. Manning posted a tweet featuring two letters, one written by Manning and the other by Stefanik, and asked her followers if they could “spot the difference” between them. Manning accused Stefanik of plagiarizing her letter “to try and get her 15 minutes of fame.”

The first three paragraphs of both letters were almost identical. Manning said she wrote the letter to the boards of three universities (including Harvard) after an on-campus hearing by the Education and Workforce Committee about antisemitism. The letter urged “policy evaluation and changes” in school codes of conduct. Manning claims she tried to make the initiative “a bipartisan effort” by sharing the letter with Stefanik, whose edits Manning claims were more concerned about “the resignation of university presidents” for “political points” than “protecting Jewish students” on campuses.

Stefanik responded by calling her Democratic colleagues “desperate and deranged” for “attacking” Republicans like herself “for uniting the country around” calling for the firing of university presidents. She then explained how the two letters came to be and accused Manning of “a hit piece” against her because her letter was stronger than Manning’s.

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