Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on May 1 repeatedly refused the idea of searching his voluminous Senate records at the University of Delaware for the name of his sexual assault accuser, Tara Reade.
In an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Biden was asked several times why the records at the university should not be searched. The former vice president argued that Reade’s name cannot be in the documents at the university because her complaint, if one was filed, would be stored at the National Archives. Reade, who accuses Biden of sexually assaulting her 27 years ago when she worked as an aide in his office, has said that records of her complaint may be among the hundreds of boxes of Biden’s documents at the University.
“A record like this can only be at one place. It would only be at the U—it would not be at the University of Delaware. My archives do not contain personnel files,” Biden said. “If that document existed it would be stored at the National Archives where documents from the office she claims to have filed her complaint with are stored.”
Prior to the interview, Biden released a statement in which he called on the secretary of the Senate to ask the National Archives to search for Reade’s complaint.
Biden gifted the University of Delaware with more than 1,800 boxes of documents in 2012.
“We are currently curating the collection, a process that takes a significant amount of time. As the curating process is not complete, the papers are not yet available to the public,” the university told The Epoch Times in a statement. “The collection was never made public, as processing is not complete and will not be for some time. It is common archival practice to complete processing of an entire collection prior to public availability.”
The National Archives told The Epoch Times: “Any records of Senate personnel complaints from 1993 would have remained under the control of the Senate. Accordingly, inquiries related to these records should be directed to the Senate.”
An inquiry sent to the Senate wasn’t returned.
When pressed if he would release documents containing Tara Reade’s name only, Biden did not answer the question directly and argued that the documents at the university contain some papers from his time in office which could be used as fodder against him during the current presidential race.
“There are no personnel documents. You can’t do that. You wouldn’t, for example, if you worked with me or I worked for you and you had my income tax returns, you had my whatever. They’re private documents. They don’t get put out in the public. They’re not part of the public record that in fact any senator or vice president or president has in their documents,” Biden said.
“Look, there’s one place that she could file the complaint and that office at the time was all those records from that office are in the archives and they’re controlled by the Senate. That’s where personnel documents would be if they exist. That’s where the complaint would be if it exists.”
Pressed again with the same question, Biden said, “There is nothing. They’re not there. I don’t understand what the point you’re trying to make. There are no personnel records by definition.”
When the host returned to the question of the search, Biden was silent for a moment before asking, “Who does that search?”
When the host suggested that the university or a special committee could conduct the search, Biden avoided the premise of the query, saying, “she said she filed a report. She has her employment records still. She says she filed a report with the only office that would have had a report in the United States Senate at the time. If the report was ever filed it was filed there. Period.”
During the interview, Biden denied Reade’s allegation.
“It is not true. I am saying unequivocally, it never, never happened and it didn’t. It never happened.”
Correction: The records held at the university were mislabeled in a previous version of this story. The Epoch Times regrets the error.