‘Expect Public Scrutiny’: Biden Records Are Public, Judicial Watch Argues In DCNF Lawsuit Against University Of Delaware

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Andrew Kerr Investigative Reporter
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Judicial Watch announced Wednesday that it filed an opening brief in its joint lawsuit with the Daily Caller News Foundation against the University of Delaware for access to all the records from former Vice President Joe Biden’s Senate career that are housed in the university’s library.

The brief challenges two opinions issued by Delaware Deputy Attorney General Dorey L. Cole, who said that the university did not violate the state’s Freedom of Information Act law in denying requests submitted by Judicial Watch and the DCNF on April 30 for all records stored in the Biden library. The denied requests also sought any agreements pertaining to the storage of Biden’s Senate records and any logs or sign-in sheets recording any individuals who visited the location where the records are stored.

“Anyone running for public office, especially our highest office, should expect public scrutiny of their record, especially of their public record,” said DCNF President Neil Patel. “It’s amazing that Joe Biden’s public papers are still sealed and nobody else in the press seems to care. We care and we are going to fight to get these records opened up as they should be.”

Cole said in the opinions that the 1,850 boxes and 415 gigabytes of digital records from Biden’s 36-year career in the Senate that he donated to the University of Delaware in 2012 are not public records subjected to FOIA because no public funds are used to support the storage of the records. (RELATED: The Daily Caller News Foundation is Suing The University Of Delaware For Access To Joe Biden’s Senate Library)

But the brief Judicial Watch submitted on behalf of the DCNF notes that the university has never explained how none of its approximately $120 million annual state appropriation is used to support the Biden library. The brief also asks the Superior Court of Delaware to order the university to search for any records that indicate the Biden library is supported by public funds.

LANCASTER, PA - JUNE 25: Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to families who have benefited from the Affordable Care Act during an event at the Lancaster Recreation Center on June 25, 2020 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Biden met with families who have benefited from the Affordable Care Act and made remarks on his plan for affordable health care. (Photo by Joshua Roberts/Getty Images)

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to families who have benefited from the Affordable Care Act during an event at the Lancaster Recreation Center on June 25, 2020, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. ( Joshua Roberts/Getty Images)

The University of Delaware said in 2012 that the Biden archival records, which contain committee reports, draft legislation and correspondence, would be made “available to the public two years after Biden’s last day in elected public office.”

But the university changed the agreement just hours before Biden announced his candidacy for president in April 2019. Now it says the records won’t be made available to the public until two years after Biden “retires from public life.”

“Delaware is hiding, in violation of law, Joe Biden’s Senate records,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “It is time for the University of Delaware to stop protecting Joe Biden and follow Delaware law, which requires them to provide public access to these public records.”

The Biden Senate papers may also contain records pertaining to Tara Reade, who has accused Biden of sexually assaulting her in 1993 when she worked in his Senate office. Reade said she believes records relating to a complaint she filed at the time could be included in the archives.

Biden has denied Reade’s accusations and said the university could not have any documents related to her accusation as there are no personnel records in the archives.

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