Biden Rejects Call to Open Delaware Archive

May 1, 2020

Former vice president and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden repeatedly rejected calls to open his archive at the University of Delaware in the wake of Tara Reade's accusation of sexual assault.

He said there are no personnel documents from his Senate career in the university archive, telling MSNBC's Morning Joe Friday that the Senate's archive would be the only place a sexual harassment complaint would be kept.

"There is nothing. They are not there. I don't understand the point you are trying to make. There are no personnel records by definition," Biden said.

Biden pushed back against anchor Mika Brzezinski when she asked for a specific search for Reade's name in the documents.

"Who does that search?" he said.

"Look, Mika, she said she filed a report. She has her employment records still. She said she filed a report with the only office that would have a report in the United States Senate at the time. If the report was ever filed, it was filed there, period," he added.

He said the records would have his past speeches and policy positions that could be taken out of context to become "fodder in a campaign at this time."

"There are no personnel records in the Biden papers at the university," he said.

Despite his refusal to open the documents, Biden insisted he was not aware of any report of sexual harassment filed against him.

"I am absolutely positive that no one I am aware of was ever made aware of a complaint, formal complaint made of or by Tara Reade against me at the time this allegedly happened 27 years ago," he said.

Biden argued there's a problem with the records being ready to be searched, but he donated them to the University of Delaware in 2011. The records were originally set to be released to the public two years after Biden's exit from public office, but the university library said an updated agreement with Biden will hold the release until two years after he retires from public life.

The university is in possession of more than 1,850 boxes of records in addition to extensive electronic records.

Friday's interview was the first time Biden addressed Reade's allegation directly, after he was interviewed 19 other times in the five weeks since Reade came forward to accuse him of sexual assault. In that time, seven top female Democratic politicians defended Biden while he remained silent on the allegation, although his campaign officially denied it.