Video from investigative journalism outfit Project Veritas (PV) released Thursday morning shows a Cornell administrator shredding a copy of the U.S. Constitution after a PV journalist posing as a student told the administrator the document is “triggering.”
Elizabeth McGrath, Cornell’s Lead Title IX Investigator, is seen in the video feeding pages from a pocket-size Constitution through a paper shredder after the undercover journalist says it would be “therapy” for her. McGrath asks the journalist if she would like to participate, an offer she declines.
The video also shows similar encounters with administrators at Yale and Syracuse University, featuring the same undercover journalist posing as a student. Scenes from the three schools are spliced together, and it seems the undercover journalist relates the same story to each administrator of seeing a group on campus handing out U.S. Constitutions and experiencing subsequent panic attacks and feeling “triggered.”
“… I have my own personal reasons why the Constitution is very triggering for me,” the PV journalist tells McGrath.
In response, McGrath calls the Constitution a “flawed document” and calls those wrote wrote the Constitution “flawed individuals.” The video cuts to her saying the Supreme Court Justices who “voted against same sex marriage were, you know, really out of their minds…”
Later, however, McGrath appears to back away from the student’s negative take on the Constitution, saying, “… handing out [the Constitutions] on campus, I think, is a way for everybody to sort of see how to choose to interpret [them].”
When McGrath suggests the document be left with her, the PV journalists asks if they could shred the document as therapy for her, to which McGrath responds, “Absolutely.”
Right before the shredding, McGrath says, “Free speech means freedom to destroy whatever you want to as well.”
The video is very similar to one released by PV earlier this week, which featured Constitution-shredding at Vassar College and Oberlin College. James O’Keefe and his group PV also notably hit Cornell back in March when it released video of Cornell assistant dean Joseph Scaffido agreeing to an undercover journalist’s suggestion that Cornell would permit students to form a pro-ISIS club and bring “freedom fighters” to speak on campus. Though the video drew strong condemnation from most at Cornell and from locals, it was seen by many on the national stage as indicative of the damaging extent of political correctness on college campuses.
Vice President of University Relations Joel Malina released a statement on the video, reading in part, “Whatever personal views [McGrath] may have shared in order to connect with a ‘student’ who appeared to be in crisis, as an employee of Cornell University she was appropriately focused on addressing the apparently urgent need of the person before her and not on any larger political context.”
At the time of publishing, a request for comment delivered to McGrath had not been immediately responded to. Requests for comment have also been delivered to Cornell Law professor Michael Dorf, who specializes in constitutional law.
Update 11/5: The Cornell Review spoke to James O’Keefe, president of Project Veritas, who said anyone who would shred the Constitution “seriously doesn’t belong on an Ivy League campus.” O’Keefe called the shredding “bizarre behavior” and shows “how far we have fallen in our culture and in the academy.” Finally, O’Keefe called Cornell’s statement in reaction to the video was triggering to him.