The campaign of presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden and the University of Delaware are refusing to grant public access to his 36-years career Senatorial records that possibly could shed light on former staffer Tara Reade’s complaint of alleged sexual assault. But, the campaign recently had access to the archives in the past year and possibly “removed all documents that corroborate” the allegation story.
Reade, who worked as a junior staffer at Biden’s office in 1993, when he was a senator from Delaware came forward that she was sexually assaulted by her then-boss that year on Capitol Hill. She claimed that she did file a complaint with a personnel office on Capitol Hill about the allegations of inappropriate touching and assault to her. However, no reporters at this point have been unable to locate any such complaint document and Reade doesn’t have her own copy of it.
The former vice president has yet directly publicly addressed the allegation. Biden’s campaign has repeatedly denied Reade’s allegations, referring to a previously released statement by deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield when asked for a comment.
“Vice President Biden has dedicated his public life to changing the culture and the laws around violence against women. He authored and fought for the passage and reauthorization of the landmark Violence Against Women Act,” Bedingfield said. “Women have a right to tell their story, and reporters have an obligation to rigorously vet those claims. We encourage them to do so, because these accusations are false.”
Since Reade came forward with the claim, there have been outgrowing calls by media outlets for the Biden campaign and the University of Delaware to authorize the release of the records of his time in the Senate given to the university and are currently inaccessible to the public. On Tuesday, Reade herself called for Biden’s Senate personnel records to be released.
“Joe Biden, I want you to release all the personnel records from 1973 to 2009 and be transparent about your office practices,” Reade said in an exclusive interview with The Daily Caller. “I would like to hold you accountable for what happened to me, to how your staff protected you and enabled you, bullied me multiple times into silence.”
She added, “You claim to be the champion of women’s rights, but your public persona does not match your personal actions. I want this brought to light and I want you to admit it in public. I want a public apology for calling me a Russian agent and having other people try to smear my character in order to cover your crimes.”
Biden’s lengthy tenure as U.S. Senator is 1,875 boxes filled with documents of committee reports where he served in multiple key roles, including as chairman of the Judiciary and Foreign Relations committees, drafts of legislation and correspondence, photographs, videotapes, and files as well as 415 gigabytes of electronic records. The collection was donated personally from Biden in 2012 to the university and the contents inside were promised to become available to the “public two years after Biden’s last day in elected public office.”
The massive trove of Senate records was supposed to be made public at the beginning of 2019, according to the agreement that Biden signed, but were still kept in secret. In April 2019, the same day Biden officially announced his 2020 presidential bid, the university changed the terms from “public office” of the agreement, and said the documents wouldn’t be made public until either December 31, 2019, or until two years after Biden retires from “public life.”
However, a bombshell report by Business Insider on Thursday found that the Biden campaign “dispatched operatives on at least one occasion to search through them.” According to Andrea Boyle Tippett, a spokeswoman for the University of Delaware confirmed to the Insider that “people from the campaign have accessed the collection since Biden announced his presidential campaign in Spring 2019.”
Biden’s team refuses to open up Senate papers, but sent operatives to look through the records. I’m sure once they’ve removed all documents that corroborate Reade’s story, they’ll change their mind and release the records in the name of “transparency.”https://t.co/hNmSoD42CP
— Richard Walters (@rww_gop) April 30, 2020
Media outlets have reached out to the University of Delaware directly for access to the Biden records, to which they have refused, saying that the papers will not be released until two years after Biden retires.
“The University of Delaware received the Biden Senatorial Papers as a gift from Vice President Biden. We are currently curating the collection, a process that we estimate will carry at least into the spring of 2021,” Boyle said in the statement to CNN. “As the curating process is not complete, the papers are not yet available to the public, and we are not able to identify what documents or files can be found within the collection.”
Numerous University of Delaware Board of Trustees members are also refusing to release the records are reported to have a very close personal and financial relationship to the former vice president. According to an exclusive report from Fox News, the university’s board chairman, John Cochran is reported to have bought Biden’s home in February 1996 for the full asking price of $1.2 million, just prior to his Senate re-election bid.
Cochran, a former CEO of MBNA Corporation is a longtime Biden donor. Shortly after buying Biden’s house, MBNA’s top executives contributed generously to his campaign in a series of coordinated donations that sidestepped the limits on contributions by the company’s political action committee. Along with Cochran, at least seven other University of Delaware’s board of trustees members have donated to Biden’s Senate and current presidential political campaigns and affiliated PACs — including a former Biden senior counsel from the Senate, as well as the state’s governor and other senior officials.
The “concerted” donation to Biden’s re-election efforts and winning in November 1996 also led to the former Vice President’s younger son Hunter landing his first job with the MBNA company after graduating from Yale Law School. Known in the office as “Senator MBNA,” Hunter was reported to be making an “unusually high” salary for having an entry-level role as he was widely seen as one “grooming for a management position.”
Biden will appear on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” early Friday morning to publicly address Reade’s allegations for the first time.