Copycat Joe: Biden accused of new plagiarism by ex-Harvard journal editor

"Instead of thanking me for protecting the integrity of the Journal, they covered for Biden," Roger Severino claimed.

Published: September 8, 2023 11:05pm

Updated: September 9, 2023 12:08am

President Joe Biden has long sparked controversy with instances of plagiarism, but one former editor of the Harvard Journal on Legislation has recently come forward with details of a particular infraction that he says shows "consciousness of guilt."

The president has previously admitted to prior plagiarism instances, including one in which he plagiarized an article from a law review while attending school, per the New York Times.

Earlier this week, Heritage Foundation Vice President Roger Severino outlined his alleged experience in 2000 when he edited a Biden-penned article on civil rights and was "shocked by the plagiarism" he found.

"Cite checking involves formatting case citations under highly prescribed rules and searching Westlaw to make sure the cases haven’t been overruled or superseded. Because I was interested in the article’s topic (civil rights) I read a bunch of the cited cases all the way through," he posted. "That’s when I noticed that a certain turn of phrase in an opinion sounded oddly familiar even though it was my [first] time reading it."

"So I turned back to Biden’s article, and there it was. He had lifted language straight out of a SCOTUS 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 continued. "I then read the piece through again and multiple other phrases sounded familiar. Turns out they too were plagiarized from opinions. I believe this merited rejecting the article outright for plagiarism so I emailed the lead editor and presented the indisputable proof."

Severino subsequently amended the above claim that he emailed the lead editor to reflect that he presented the evidence of plagiarism in person. His senior editors were evidently less than appalled by Severino's discovery and, according to him, made efforts to cover for the then-Delaware senator rather than address the matter directly.

"Instead of thanking me for protecting the integrity of the Journal, they covered for Biden," Severino claimed. "They 'fixed' the plagiarism by adding proper attributions and acted like the whole incident never happened."

Severino went on to assert that the method of Biden's plagiarism betrayed an obvious attempt to disguise the effort, deeming his approach "mosaic plagiarism," a practice in which an author changes individual words within a larger quote to make the plagiarism more difficult to identify.

"This indicates what’s known in law as 'consciousness of guilt,'" Severino insisted. "Worse still, Biden was *already* known to have plagiarized before this article crossed my desk, yet was brazen enough to try it again."

The White House did not immediately respond to request for comment from Just the News

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

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