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Operatives sent by Joe Biden’s presidential campaign went through Senate papers and other materials held at the University of Delaware within the past year, raising the specter they may have been looking for documents related to Tara Reade’s sexual assault allegations dating back to 1993.
As reported by Business Insider, Biden campaign representatives “rifled through” the documents on “at least one occasion,” citing a statement from university spokeswoman Andrea Boyle Tippett.
The visit to the university’s library, where Biden’s documents are being held sequestered from the public, came at some juncture after the former vice president announced his run in April 2019 and before “mid-March” 2020, when the library closed over the coronavirus pandemic.
Tippett added that no one from the campaign has visited since.
The development comes as both The Atlantic and The Washington Post argued that Biden should instruct the university to turn over the records, saying they “could contain confirmation of any complaint Ms. Reade made, either through official congressional channels or to the three other employees she claims she informed not specifically of the alleged assault but more generally of harassment.”
In 2012, Biden gave the university over 1,875 boxes of “photographs, documents, videotapes, and files” along with 415 gigabytes of electronic records.
Initially, university officials said they would make the records “available to the public two years after Biden’s last day in elected public office. But in April 2019, only hours before Biden announced his presidential bid, the university had a change of heart and said that the documents would not be released until either December 31, 2019, or until two years after the embattled former VP “retires from public life,” whichever occurs first.
Fox News noted further that Reade first made public her explosive allegations against Biden on March 25. Over the past year, Reade and a number of other women have accused Biden of inappropriate contact. And the former senator and VP has been caught on camera a number of times touching young girls and causing them to react uncomfortably.
— James of the Latter-Day Saints (@JamesoftheLDS) April 29, 2020
In an interview with MSNBC on Friday, Biden denied the 1993 incident in an interview with “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski.
“She says in 1993, Mr. Vice President, that you pinned her against a wall and reached under her clothing and penetrated her with your fingers,” Brzezinski said. “Would you please go on the record with the American people. Did you sexually assault Tara Reade?”
“No. It is not true. I’m saying unequivocally, it never, never happened, and it didn’t. It never happened,” he replied.
Brzezinski then asked Biden about Reade’s complaint she says she filed shortly after the alleged sexual assault, leading the former VP to call on the National Archives to search for it.
“Are you preparing us for a complaint that might be there?” Brzezinksi asked, to which Biden responded that he was “confident” none exists.
But the National Archives refuted Biden’s statement, as Business Insider reporter Nicole Einbinder noted in a tweet.
Instead, a Senate Historical Office staffer said the Fair Employment Practices records are governed by a Senate resolution mandating that "records containing personal privacy, information closed by statute, and records of executive nomination are closed for 50 years." pic.twitter.com/xUVyfnQP2H
— Nicole Einbinder (@NicoleEinbinder) May 1, 2020
Fox News noted further that several top officials at the University of Delaware have financial ties to Biden, even as the institution continues to refuse requests to release his documents, as promised earlier.
The university board chairman, John Cochran, even purchased Biden’s home in 1996 for $1.2 million, paying “top dollar” for it given its condition, the network added. Cochran is also a longtime Biden donor.
For her part, Reade says she’s “stunned” by the reaction of Democrats, whom she has long supported, to her claims against Biden.
The rejection of her claims by female Democrats has been particularly painful, Reade — a lifelong Democrat — said, noting that the surprising treatment left her feeling betrayed and in tears.
“It was really devastating when [Senator Kirsten] Gillibrand and Stacey Abrams and Hillary Clinton, all on the same day, just basically implied my story wasn’t true and they believe Joe Biden. I can’t describe to you what that felt like,” Reade told BuzzFeed News in a story published Thursday.
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