Niall Ferguson is a conservative British historian who teaches at both Oxford and Stanford, where he chaired a right-wing lecture series called Cardinal Conversations.
In February, Ferguson invited Charles Murray, a eugenicist who promotes junk-science about the link between "race" and IQ, to speak at his series. Ferguson was triggered by student activists who objected to a racist pseudo-scientist speaking on campus, so he conspired with a student Republican association to discredit the activists who had traumatized him.
In a series of leaked email exchanges, Ferguson proposed that the young Republicans spy on student activist Michael Ocon to find kompromat: "Some opposition research on Mr. O might also be worthwhile."
One of Ferguson's proteges, John Rice-Cameron (the son of Obama security advisor Susan Rice), wrote to Ferguson that "Slowly, we will continue to crush the Left's will to resist, as they will crack under pressure."
Ferguson shared Rice-Ferguson's supervillain diction, writing back that "now we turn to the more subtle game of grinding them down on the committee."
After the email exchanges leaked, Ferguson resigned his directorship of the Cardinal Conversations, calling his language "reckless and inflammatory" but defending it because "It seemed to me that the Cardinal Conversations student steering committee was in danger of being taken over by elements that were fundamentally hostile to free speech."
"[The original Cardinal Conversations steering committee] should all be allies against O. Whatever your past differences, bury them. Unite against the SJWs. [Christos] Makridis [a fellow at Vox Clara, a Christian student publication] is especially good and will intimidate them," Ferguson wrote.
"Now we turn to the more subtle game of grinding them down on the committee. The price of liberty is eternal vigilance," Ferguson wrote.
The previous messages were interspersed with greater discussion of the Cardinal Conversations committee and planning process, as well as a discussion appearing to be about student government.
In the email chain, Ferguson wrote, "Some opposition research on Mr. O might also be worthwhile," referring to Ocon.
Minshull wrote in response that he would "get on the opposition research for Mr. O."
Leaked emails show Hoover academic conspiring with College Republicans to conduct 'opposition research' on student [Brian Contreras, Ada Statler and Courtney Douglas/Stanford Daily]