BOSTON — The Harvard Institute of Politics removed Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) from its Senior Advisory Committee in the wake of last week’s deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol, pointing to her unfounded claims of voter fraud in the November election.
“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,” Harvard Kennedy School Dean Douglas Elmendorf wrote in a letter released Tuesday. “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.”
The school initially asked Stefanik to step aside, according to Elmendorf. When the New York lawmaker declined, the school removed her. Stefanik was among the 147 House Republicans who voted against certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
For her part, Stefanik called her removal “a rite of passage and badge of honor.” Stefanik graduated from the university in 2006.
“The decision by Harvard’s administration to cower and cave to the woke Left will continue to erode diversity of thought,” Stefanik wrote in a statement on Twitter. “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.”
The decision to drop Stefanik from the board comes amid backlash after the riot at the Capitol last week. Some major corporations have ceased political donations in response to the incident, and Trump has fielded a flurry of resignations from his administration. The FBI warned on Monday that more violent demonstrations are being planned.
The Harvard Institute of Politics has faced criticism for inviting former members of President Donald Trump’s administration to serve as fellows. The school developed a new vetting process in 2018 after facing national backlash for inviting fellows including former press secretary Sean Spicer, according to the Harvard Crimson.