Harvard law grad Roger Severino accuses Joe Biden of plagiarism in 2000 journal article – claiming it had language lifted straight from a court opinion without citation
- Conservative lawyer Roger Severino accused Biden of plagiarism in 2000 article
- Severino said he discovered copycat passages in Biden’s submission while working as a junior editor at the Harvard Journal on Legislation
A Harvard Law School graduate has accused President Joe Biden of a previously unreported instance of plagiarism related to a journal article he authored in 2000.
Biden has notably been accused of plagiarism several times throughout his career, including during the 1988 Democratic presidential primary when he liberally recycled quotes from British politician Neil Kinnock in a debate.
Severino said that, while a law student, he was working as a junior editor at the Harvard Journal on Legislation when he found multiple instances of plagiarism in an essay submitted by Biden defending the federal Violence Against Women Act.
‘I was shocked by the plagiarism I discovered,’ Severino wrote on X. ‘He had lifted language straight out of a [federal court] opinion, changed a couple words, and called them his own. There were no quote marks and no footnote or anything else attributing the court as the source.’
Severino wrote that after discovering multiple instances of plagiarism he flagged the issue to the top editor to recommend rejecting the article – but says, instead, the editors ‘covered for Biden’ and added quote marks and citations to fix the issue.
‘They ‘fixed’ the plagiarism by adding proper attributions and acted like the whole incident never happened. But this was no innocent mistake, where Biden ‘forgot’ a quote mark or two which would be bad enough,’ he wrote.
Representatives for Harvard Law School and the Biden campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment from DailyMail.com late on Thursday night.
Writing of the law journal incident, Severino noted on X that ‘Biden was ‘already’ known to have plagiarized before this article crossed my desk yet was brazen enough to try it again.’
Severino said the court opinion that Biden failed to properly attribute in the article was likely the 4th Circuit decision in Brzonkala v. Virginia Polytechnic Institute.
The published version of Biden’s article contains several citations of the dissenting opinion in that case, authored by Judge Diana Jane Gribbon Motz of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
Gribbon Motz, who is now semi-retired, could not immediately be reached for comment.
Severino’s accusation came days after the Washington Post published an article chronicling an adjacent issue for Biden: his penchant for embellishing personal stories beyond the limits of credibility.
The president also previously admitted to a ‘mistake’ in the 1960s where he plagiarized five pages from a published law review without attribution when he was a law student.
He was given an ‘F,’ but allowed to retake the course for a new grade.
‘I was wrong, but I was not malevolent in any way,’ Biden stated in the 1960s. ‘I did not intentionally move to mislead anybody. And I didn’t. To this day I didn’t.’
However, it was the lines stolen in the 1980s during his first presidential campaign that might be the most notable.
In closing remarks at a debate, Biden lifted lines from Kinnock’s most famous speeches. An aide told Biden he forgot to credit the lines, and a rival politician’s camp seized on the plagiarism.
Officials from Michael Dukakis’ staff released a video to the press showing Kinnock’s and Biden’s speeches. They were later forced to resign, and Dukakis claimed he had no prior knowledge of the video’s release.
The press also jumped on Biden’s statement that he graduated in the top half of his law school class, in reality, it was 76 out of 85 students.
That Kinnock scandal is widely blamed for the collapse of Biden’s first presidential bid. Michael Dukakis went on to win the Democratic nomination, and lost to George W. Bush in the general.
For his part, Kinnock, the liberal British politician Biden cribbed from, appears to have forgiven the blunder as inadvertent, and endorsed Biden’s 2020 presidential bid.
‘Joe’s an honest guy,’ Kinnock told the Guardian in 2020. ‘If Trump had done it, I would know that he was lying.’