The Secretary of the Senate on Monday said that her office cannot comply with Joe Biden’s request to disclose records pertaining to a complaint allegedly filed by former staffer Tara Reade.
“Based on the law’s strict confidentiality requirements…and the Senate’s own direction that disclosure of Senate records is not authorized if prohibited by law…Senate Legal Counsel advises that the Secretary has no discretion to disclose any such information as requested in Vice President Biden’s letter of May 1,” the office of the Senate Secretary said in a statement.
Biden has stated that the only possible place where Reade’s alleged complaint could be found is in Senate personnel archives. Reade, who accuses Biden of sexually assaulting her in Spring 1993, said she filed a complaint against Biden in which she alleged that the former Delaware senator engaged in inappropriate behavior, but didn’t mention the assault.
Biden denied the assault allegation on Friday.
“I want to address allegations by a former staffer that I engaged in misconduct 27 years ago. They aren’t true. This never happened,” Biden said in a statement. During an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Biden also denied that a search of his personal archives held by the University of Delaware would turn up any mention of Reade, saying that those records contain private conversations with world leaders that could be used as “campaign fodder.”
Reade’s account of the alleged assault has been corroborated in some aspects by testimony from friends and a former neighbor.
The University of Delaware has refused to make the contents of Biden’s archives available for research. The archives are under the direct control of the university’s Board of Trustees, many of whose members have ties to Biden and have donated to his presidential campaign.