Harvard professor who sided with Warren on Native American heritage also a campaign donor

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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A Harvard Law School professor who defended Elizabeth Warren against charges she unfairly obtained her teaching position by falsely claiming a Native American minority heritage is a donor to her U.S. Senate campaign.

Professor Charles Fried gave $250 to Warren’s campaign in November 2011, according to a review by The Daily Caller of donor records published by the Center for Responsive Politics.

The Associated Press reported Monday that Fried, a former solicitor general under President Reagan who voted for President Obama in 2008, said the notion that Warren “attained her position and maintains her reputation on anything other than her evident merit is complete nonsense.”

The Warren campaign is likely hoping Fried’s defense will put questions about her claims of Native American ancestry to rest. But the revelation that he is not an impartial observer of the race — and donated money to her campaign — could spark more questions.

Warren found herself caught up in a controversy last week after the Boston Herald revealed that the American Association of Law Schools directory described her as a “minority” from 1984 to 1995, and that Harvard later followed suit. Her campaign has struggled to prove her ancestry and rebut accusations that she self-identified as a minority then to improve her chances of being recruited by prestigious universities.

Fried’s comments came after the chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party asked Harvard University on Sunday to investigate whether Warren committed “academic fraud” in the 1980s and ’90s by claiming to be a Native American minority. (RELATED: Full coverage of the Elizabeth Warren campaign)

“The problem is that Ms. Warren is not a Native American,” state GOP chairman Robert Maginn wrote in a letter to Harvard President Drew Faust on Sunday. “She is Caucasian.”

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