Harvard University president Claudine Gay was hit with six additional allegations of plagiarism on Monday in a complaint filed with the university, breathing fresh life into a scandal that has embroiled her nascent presidency and pushing the total number of allegations near 50.

This is from Aaron Sibarium, “Harvard President Claudine Gay Hit With Six New Charges of Plagiarism,” Free Beacon, January 1, 2024.

The strangest part of the defensive responses of various Harvard faculty was this:

Another Harvard lawyer, Charles Fried, was more explicit, describing the allegations as an “extreme right-wing attack on elite institutions.”

“If it came from some other quarter, I might be granting it some credence,” he told the Times. “But not from these people.”

To be clear, Fried said this in December, before these latest charges, something that the Free Beacon news story did not make clear. Fried should know better, and he probably used to, given that he was Solicitor General from 1985 to 1989 under President Ronald Reagan. When someone makes a factual charge, it’s relatively easy to examine the factual charge regardless of the motives of the person making it. Indeed the motives are completely irrelevant to whether the charge is true. Lawyers are typically very good at understanding that.

Fried has flunked basic reasoning 101.