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U. Delaware dodges questions related to Biden Senate records amid sexual assault allegations

Accuser calls on records to be released

The University of Delaware is dodging questions related to documents pertaining to presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s time as a United States senator, saying that the collection is still under review and can’t be released until the former vice president retires.

Biden donated his Senate records to his alma mater UD in 2011, with the idea that they would be publicly released after his time in public service.

But the documents have drawn renewed interest following a sexual assault allegation by a former Biden Senate staffer, Tara Reade, who says he assaulted her in 1993 by forcibly kissing and digitally penetrating her. The Biden campaign has denied the allegations.

The New York Times reported that after fellow staffers chose to ignore her complaint against the then-senator, Reade “filed a written complaint with a Senate personnel office.”

Such a complaint would likely be included in the 1,875 boxes of documents and 415 gigabytes of electronic records that Biden donated to the University of Delaware in 2011. But the university is refusing to release them.

“The collection of former Vice President Biden’s senatorial papers is still being processed, with many items yet to be catalogued. The entire collection will remain closed to the public until two years after Mr. Biden retires from public life,” university spokesperson Andrea Boyle Tippett told The College Fix in an email.

The Fix had asked UD when the papers were going to be released, and why they had been delayed from a possible scheduled release of Dec. 31, 2019. The Fix also asked if the Biden campaign had requested a delay in the release of the former vice president’s senate records.

“I’m calling for the release of the documents being held by the University of Delaware that contain Biden’s staff personnel records because I believe it will have my complaint form, as well as my separation letter and other documents, Reade told Fox News Tuesday.

The Biden campaign did not respond to The Fix’s request for comment.

The Washington Post reported on the status of the Biden Senate documents in July 2019, indicating that the Dec. 31, 2019 release would only occur if Biden had retired from public life prior to then. Before 2019, the university had a different indication as to how the documents would be released.

The Post reported:

Starting in 2011 and for years after, the university had described the terms of the agreement as keeping the papers sealed “for two years after Biden retires from public office.” But this year, on the day before Biden announced his presidential campaign, the university changed the way that it described those terms.

Instead of citing his departure from “public office,” the university said the documents would not be made public until two years after Biden “retires from public life” or after Dec. 31, 2019, whichever is later. It did not define what is considered “public life.”

Tippett told The Post at the time that because Biden was “currently running for office, he is in public life” and that “Since retirement for anyone, not just public figures, takes different forms, I can’t speculate beyond that.”

A public records request at the time from The Post seeking the original donor agreement was denied, and the Biden campaign told the publication that “no change has been made to the agreement since September 2016, although it could not say what change was made then.”

MORE: Student groups call for investigation into Biden for sexual assault allegation

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