MIT strategized with White House to kill bill with more scrutiny on foreign funding: FOIA

MIT strategized with White House to kill bill with more scrutiny on foreign funding: FOIA

  • January 25, 2024

Greg Piper, Just the News

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sally Kornbluth is the lone university president who has not resigned among three who told a congressional committee last month that calling for Jewish genocide does not inherently violate campus conduct codes.

That may not last, given the revelation that MIT’s D.C. director worked with the White House nearly three years ago to ensure that high-dollar foreign donations to universities – including from countries that seek Israel’s eradication or marginalization – wouldn’t be subject to heightened federal scrutiny.

Federal watchdog Protect the Public’s Trust obtained communications between MIT’s David Goldston, a Capitol Hill veteran who served as House Science Committee chief of staff 20 years ago, and Office of Science and Technology Policy leaders from 2021 through a Freedom of Information Act request, and shared them with Just the News.

The emails show them strategizing over several months to remove a provision from the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act that would task the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), an interagency group led by the Treasury Department, with reviewing foreign gifts to and contracts with universities of $1 million and up for national security threats.

Universities have “traditionally been reluctant to provide transparency” despite a “significant portion” of the foreign money coming from “regimes hostile to the U.S.,” PPT Director Michael Chamberlain, a former Trump education communications official, told Just the News.

“The very tepid response of many universities” to antisemitic incidents on campus after Hamas attacked Israeli civilians Oct. 7 “has naturally led to a chorus of questions about whether this hesitance to confront antisemitism may have been, at least in part, rooted in institutions’ receipts from foreigners opposed to Israel,” he said.

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