It was a good bit of razzle-dazzle but one with a low likelihood of working. Before Joe Biden’s interview this morning with MSNBC’a Mika Brzezinski, his handlers evidently cued him on what to say if asked whether he would agree to unseal his Senate records, which are housed at the University of Delaware. As things currently stand, those records will not be available to the public until two years after Biden has “retired from public life,” unless Biden petitions an earlier release.
But Biden came to the interview prepared. Before Brzezinski could even ask him about those records, he announced that in the spirit of full disclosure his campaign had requested that the National Archives make available relevant records from that period.
When the “Morning Joe” co-host asked him anyway whether he would make public the records at U. of Delaware, he protested, insisting that the sexual harassment complaint Tara Reade had allegedly filed in 1993 would not be in any of the 1,875 boxes of committee reports, drafts of legislation, and correspondence. “Personnel files,” he assured Brzezinski several times, would not be among the trove of documents.
“There is only one place a complaint of this kind could be — the National Archives,” Biden said, emphasizing that records from the Senate Office of Fair Employment Practices, where Reade would have filed her complaint, are kept at the National Archives.
But according to Business Insider’s Nicole Einbinder, who spoke with a National Archives spokesperson, the archives don’t keep records from the Senate Fair Employment Practices offices.
Joe Biden said that Tara Reade's complaint could only be at the National Archives, at what was then called the Office of Fair Employment Practices. But, a National Archives spokesperson told me that they do not hold records from that office.
— Nicole Einbinder (@NicoleEinbinder) May 1, 2020
It appears the ball is back in Biden’s court. Will he agree to open his records, or will he stonewall?