Pressure is mounting for former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, to unseal documents related to his time in the Senate as he faces increased scrutiny for an allegation of sexual assault leveled against him by Tara Reade.
Reade, who worked as a Senate staffer for Biden in 1993, has accused the then-senator of kissing her, touching her and penetrating her with his fingers without her consent.
The Biden campaign has denied the assault and said it “absolutely did not happen.”
The campaign has not responded to many requests for comment from The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Reade has said that she made harassment complaints to three Biden staffers, none of whom reportedly took action, and that she filed a written complaint with “a Senate personnel office” in 1993, according to The New York Times.
The paper reported that she said she did not have a copy of this complaint.
If Reade’s story is true, the complaint would be held in Biden’s senate records, which are housed by the University of Delaware Library.
Those Senate records cover a wide swath of Biden’s political career but are being kept secret until Biden “retires from public life.”
Beginning in 2011 and onward, according to The Washington Post, the University of Delaware had said it would keep the papers sealed “for two years after Biden retires from public office.”
The collection of these documents fills 1,875 boxes and includes 415 gigabytes of electronic records, containing committee reports, drafts of legislation and correspondence.
But the university announced that the records would not be made available shortly before Biden made his presidential campaign official in April 2019.
The university said then that instead of waiting until Biden departs from “public office,” the documents would not be made available to the public until two years after Biden “retires from public life” — or after Dec. 31, 2019, without defining what “public life” is.
“The entire collection is unavailable,” spokeswoman Andrea Boyle Tippett told The Post.
“Its contents will become available, as the website indicates, when Mr. Biden retires from public life.”
She has not responded to a request for comment from the DCNF.
“As he is currently running for office, he is in public life,” she said.
“Since retirement for anyone, not just public figures, takes different forms, I can’t speculate beyond that.”
The University of Delaware denied The Post’s public records requests for copies of Biden’s initial agreement with the university or any changes or correspondence related to such an agreement.
Tippett told the publication that “the gift agreement signed when the papers were donated is not a public document.”
“There were no subsequent documents or amendments,” she added.
“Per university policy, we do not share donor information with outside parties.”
The University of Delaware Library has not responded to a request for comment from the DCNF.
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