On Friday, Joe Biden made his first public response to the sexual assault allegations made against him by former staffer Tara Reade. In a statement, he claimed that there was no record of the alleged complaint she filed back in 1993. “The papers from my Senate years that I donated to the University of Delaware do not contain personnel files,” he explained. “There is only one place a complaint of this kind could be — the National Archives. The National Archives is where the records are kept at what was then called the Office of Fair Employment Practices.”
He then called on the National Archives to identify and release any such records pertaining to the alleged complaint.
There’s just one problem: The National Archives holds no such records.
Nicole Einbinder, an investigative reporter for Business Insider, reported on Twitter that a National Archives spokesperson told her “that they do not hold records from that office.”
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
Why would Joe Biden put out a false trail for Reade’s complaint? The answer is obvious. He doesn’t want to release his senatorial records that are being held at the University of Delaware, but he wants to give the appearance of full transparency with his bogus call for the National Archives to release any documents pertaining to Reade’s allegation—which he knows they don’t have.
It should be noted that Tara Reade has said that she’s not just after her sexual harassment complaint.
[Reade] said that while she didn’t tell anyone at Biden’s office about the assault allegations, she did complain to superiors about harassment and being made to feel uncomfortable. She said she met formally and informally with several Biden aides — including his former chief of staff, Ted Kaufman — about her concerns, which included allegations that she was told she dressed too provocatively and asked to serve drinks at a fundraiser because Biden liked her legs. She believes notes from those discussions would be in any personnel files the archives might contain.
“Ted Kaufman took notes when I spoke with him,” Reade told Insider. “He’s now denying that we ever had the meeting, and I watched him take notes. Those notes would be in my personnel file, along with sick days or any kind of extra notes that I turn in,” she said, adding that the archives might contain documentation of what she said was an effort to force her to resign after she came forward with the harassment allegations.
It is very likely that there is some very damaging stuff contained within Biden’s senatorial records at the University of Delaware—be they related to Tara Reade or perhaps other women he preyed on. Biden clearly doesn’t want us to see these records. Attempting to cover up the existence of Reade’s complaint suggests Biden feels he has something to hide.
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis