Politics

DCNF, Judicial Watch Take Fight For Biden’s Senate Records To Delaware Supreme Court

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Andrew Kerr Investigative Reporter
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  • The Daily Caller News Foundation and Judicial Watch filed an appeal to the Supreme Court of Delaware on Monday asking for a reversal of a lower court opinion that blocked access to records from President Joe Biden’s Senate career.
  • Some 1,850 boxes and 415 gigabytes of digital records from Biden’s 36-year Senate career are housed at the University of Delaware, but the Delaware Superior Court ruled in January that the records are not subject to release.
  • “We have no idea why the University of Delaware is hiding these materials that the public should have every right to see and we are grateful for Judicial Watch and our local counsel for pushing this case hard,” said DCNF President Neil Patel.

The Daily Caller News Foundation and Judicial Watch filed a notice of appeal to the Supreme Court of Delaware on Monday asking for a reversal of a lower court opinion that blocked a Freedom of Information Act request for access to records from President Joe Biden’s Senate career.

The motion seeks a reversal of a ruling by the Superior Court of Delaware in early January that the 1,850 boxes and 415 gigabytes of digital records from Biden’s 36-year Senate career that he donated to the University of Delaware in 2012 are not subject to release because no public funds have been used to support the Biden library.

The lower court rejected the DCNF and Judicial Watch’s argument that some of the university’s approximately $120 million annual taxpayer appropriation could have been used to indirectly support the Biden library by funding archival space and staff salaries. The court said a statement from the university that claimed, without evidence, that no state funds supported the library was sufficient to rule against releasing the documents.

“We have no idea why the University of Delaware is hiding these materials that the public should have every right to see and we are grateful for Judicial Watch and our local counsel for pushing this case hard,” DCNF President Neil Patel said. “When people ask why our institutions are no longer trusted, they should look up this case.”

The appeal filed Monday stems from a lawsuit the DCNF and Judicial Watch filed against the University of Delaware in July after the university rejected FOIA requests for access to the Biden library.

The University of Delaware said in 2012 after it first received Biden’s archival records that it would make the library “available to the public two years after Biden’s last day in elected public office.” (RELATED: ‘Expect Public Scrutiny’: Biden Records Are Public, Judicial Watch Argues In DCNF Lawsuit Against University Of Delaware.)

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

President Joe Biden speaks about climate change issues in the State Dining Room of the White House on January 27, 2021, in Washington, DC. (Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images)

The Delaware Superior Court had also rejected a request from the DNCF and Judicial Watch for access to the gift agreement signed between Biden and the University of Delaware when he donated his senatorial records in 2012. However, the lower court noted that the university must immediately notify the court within 30 days if it finds that the agreement discusses public funds being used to support the Biden library.

“There is significant public interest in the special deal between Joe Biden and the University of Delaware that is keeping Biden’s Senate records completely secret,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said Monday. “Delaware law is explicit in requiring state entities, including the University of Delaware, to provide public access to these records.”

The Biden library 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 of the alleged assault could be included in the archives stored at the University of Delaware.

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

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