Following Joe Biden’s silence-breaking appearance on MSNBC last Friday to address allegations of sexual assault, I speculated on why he came to the interview prepared to suggest that the National Archives would be the best place to look for records of Tara Reade’s complaint — if one existed at all. ““There is only one place a complaint of this kind could be — the National Archives,” Biden volunteered, adding that he had already asked the Senate to open an investigation there. (RELATED: Nat’l Archives refutes Biden’s claim that Reade’s complaint would be housed there)
When asked about unsealing his personal Senate records at the University of Delaware, the former vice president demurred, assuring interviewer Mika Brzezinski and viewers that “personnel files” would not be among the trove of documents there. When Brzezinski pursued that line of inquiry, he became agitated.
It struck me at the time that Biden doth protest too much. I wasn’t alone in that conviction. The Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty wrote in the aftermath of the interview:
Biden didn’t adequately address the “why” [of his refusal open the University of Delaware archives to scrutiny]. He simply kept repeating that those files do not contain personnel records. We are expected to take his word for that. There is a good chance that Biden is telling the truth. But even if he is, those boxes of material might hold many other items that could be relevant: memos from staff members that mention Reade or her allegation, schedules that convey a sense of how much contact he had with Reade. The materials might include documents that speak to the general culture in the office. There might be … Well, we just don’t know what might be there, because Biden won’t let anyone see them.
Well, as it turns out, Tumulty’s assertion that “Biden won’t let anyone see them” is not entirely accurate. On Thursday, Business Insider’s Nicole Einbinder dropped this bombshell:
[The Biden] the campaign itself is curious about what is in those boxes and has dispatched operatives on at least one occasion to search through them, Insider has learned. Andrea Boyle Tippett, a spokeswoman for the University of Delaware, confirmed to Insider that people from the campaign have accessed the collection since Biden announced his presidential campaign in spring 2019.
If Team Biden has combed through the records, and Reade’s complaint is not among them, then why the hesitation to open the records to the press? One presumes Biden would welcome the chance to be exonerated.