Biden Campaign Operatives Have Accessed the Senate Files He Now Refuses to Release

Elections
Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at an event in Wilmington, Del., March 12, 2020. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

Biden campaign operatives have reportedly accessed the former vice president’s archived Senate files, which may contain information shedding light on Tara Reade’s allegation that Biden sexually assaulted her when she worked for him as a Senate aide.

Operatives with the presumptive Democratic nominee’s campaign accessed Biden’s records, which are housed at the University of Delaware, in the spring of 2019, just after he announced his candidacy for president in late April, Business Insider reported. The University of Delaware said no one has accessed them since mid-March, when the university library closed due to the pandemic.

Reade went public shortly afterwards on March 25 with graphic details of her claim. She alleged that in 1993 when she was a Senate staff assistant, she was told by a top staffer to bring Biden a duffel bag in a Senate building, and when she met with him he pinned her against a wall and penetrated her with his fingers while forcibly kissing her. In early April of last year, before he announced his run for the Democratic nomination, Reade alleged along with several other women that Biden had touched her inappropriately.

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Biden deposited his Senate archive at the University of Delaware in 2012. Initially, the university promised to open the archive two years after Biden’s last day in public office. However, in April 2019 hours before Biden announced his presidential campaign, the university decided to keep the archive closed until December 31, 2019 or until Biden retires from public life.

Reade has said that she suspects the archives from Biden’s 36 years as senator may contain notes and other personnel records, including a sexual harassment complaint she filed. Reade said she complained about harassment from Biden to three top staffers, who deny ever hearing about the allegation. However, several interns remember Reade losing her intern supervision responsibilities around that time.

Ted Kaufman, Biden’s chief of staff at the time, “took notes” during a meeting she had with him about the harassment, Reade told Business Insider.

“He’s now denying that we ever had the meeting, and I watched him take notes. Those notes would be in my personnel file, along with sick days or any kind of extra notes that I turn in,” she said.

Reade is calling for the release to the public of the Senate files, which are due to be released two years after Biden leaves public life.

“I believe it will have my complaint form, as well as my separation letter and other documents,” she said. “Maybe if other staffers that have tried to file complaints would come to light – why are they under seal? And why won’t they be released to the public?”

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