Sarah May
September 11, 2023

Biden accused of plagiarism by former Harvard Law School journal editor

No stranger to controversies regarding an alleged lack of honesty or candor, President Joe Biden is now the subject of yet another plagiarism claim, this time leveled by a former editor of a Harvard Law School publication, as the New York Post reports.

The accusations against the president come from Roger Severino, who once served as an editor on the Journal of Legislation at Harvard Law School and is now vice president of domestic policy at the Heritage Foundation.

Misappropriated verbiage

According to Severino, during his time on the journal's staff, he was tasked with reviewing a piece submitted for publication by then-Sen. Biden.

The piece, penned in 2000, was offered in support of the Violence Against Women Act, but was, as Severino recounts, rife with stolen concepts and phrasing.

Certain wording contained in the essay triggered Severino's memory, causing him to think, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, I've heard this before,” as he explained to Fox News' Jesse Watters last week.

Taking liberties

Soon, Severino realized that Biden had taken portions of his submission from a 1999 dissenting opinion in the case of Brzonkala v. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and represented them as his original thoughts.

Describing his sense of shock over what he saw, Severino added, “[Biden] had lifted language straight out of a [federal court] opinion, changed a couple of words and called them his own. There were no quote marks and no footnote or anything else attributing the court as the source.”

Even more egregious, in Severino's estimation, was that Biden engaged in what he called “mosaic plagiarism,” a tactic whereby a writer will choose a particular quote and make alterations to a few words along the way so that the theft is not as easily detected.

That, Severino says, demonstrates Biden's “consciousness of guilt” over what he had done.

Accountability avoided

Also exasperating to Severino is the fact that despite having brought the issue to the attention of the journal's then-executive editor expecting Biden's piece to be rejected, the opposite occurred.

Instead, he recalled, editors “added quote marks and citations to fix the issue” and “acted like the whole incident never happened.”

Referencing Biden's prior plagiarism scandal from his own law school days, Severino remains incredulous that the eventual president was “already known to have plagiarized before this article crossed my desk” and that he was “brazen enough to try it again,” but given the willingness of seemingly everyone in his sphere – then and now – to cover for his dishonesty, few will likely be shocked by this story.

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