In his statement, Mr. Biden said that if such a document existed, there would be a copy of it in the National Archives, which retains records from what was then the Office of Fair Employment Practices. He called on the archives “to identify any record of the complaint she alleges she filed and make available to the press any such document.” Later on Friday, after the National Archives said it did not have personnel documents, Mr. Biden asked the secretary of the Senate to direct a more extensive search, also asking for “any and all other documents in the records that relate to the allegation.”
This is a start, but it does not go far enough. Any serious inquiry must include the trove of records from Mr. Biden’s Senate career that he donated to the University of Delaware in 2012. Currently, those files are set to remain sealed until after Mr. Biden retires from public life — a common arrangement. There are growing calls for Mr. Biden to make those records available to see if they contain any mention of Ms. Reade or perhaps others who raised similar complaints about his behavior.
One thing we should be very clear about here is that Reade’s allegations are being used as a translucent pretext. Reade has never said that her complaint included a claim of sexual assault, and is now claiming that it didn’t claim sexual harassment either. And, in addition, the Senate Papers don’t include personnel files. There’s as much chance of finding something material to Reade’s claims in Biden’s documents as there is of uncovering secret Biden connections to the Kennedy assassination. This has nothing to do with Reade and everything to do with reporters wanting some raw material to churn out months of EMAILS! stories to balance out the corrupt president completely botching his handling of a pandemic and economic depression. That’s it.
It’s also worth noting that the Times’s ridiculous “clouds raised” stories about the Clinton Foundation make clear that there’s basically no chance that reporters are going to spend weeks looking through boxes of records in Newark, DE and just conclude “nope, turns out there’s nothing there.” Biden releasing the papers will just lead to a bunch of negative stories built on decades-old minutia hyped up by reporters and editors desperate to justify an unwise investment of time and resources. And when it turns up nothing about Reade, this won’t end the requests for more records — there’s always something else you could provide, more questions to be raised, more shadows to be cast. The only winning move in Transparency Calvinball is not to play.