Court: Biden's Senate records not necessarily exempt from FOIA demands

Tara Reade and Joe Biden (video screenshot)
Tara Reade and Joe Biden (video screenshot)

The Delaware Supreme Court has ruled that the University of Delaware has failed to argue successfully that Joe Biden’s Senate records, which it has, are exempt from public records requests.

The result returns to a lower court a demand from a news organization for information that may be contained in those documents about Tara Reade, who accused Biden of sexually assaulting her in 1993 when she worked as a staff assistant to the then-senator.

She has said she believes a workplace discrimination and harassment complaint she filed against Biden at the time may be in the records housed at the University of Delaware.

The case was brought by Judicial Watch on behalf of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The Washington government watchdog explained on Tuesday the court said the university must provide “more information justifying its decision to keep secret its deal to house and restrict access to the U.S. Senate records of President Joe Biden.”

The decision reversed a ruling from the Delaware Superior Court and found that the University of Delaware had not carried its burden justifying its refusal to produce records. The case returns to the Delaware Superior Court for further proceedings.

The case originally was launched in July 2020 with a state Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the school after officials there decided to keep secret all of Biden’s Senate records.

Judicial Watch appealed to the state Supreme Court.

The legal team noted the ruling said the state’s open records law requires the school to provide more information, under oath, to justify its secrecy policy.

The ruling said, “FOIA safeguards a democratic society by ensuring the meetings and records of governmental entities are available to the public…. Therefore, if a public body is to deny citizens an opportunity to ‘observe the performance of public officials and to monitor the decisions that are made by such officials,’ the public body must satisfy its burden of proof under FOIA in a manner that tracks the seriousness of the statute’s purpose and policy. Statements made under oath, such as through a sworn affidavit, accomplish that goal…”

The ruling said the school’s “assertions” were not made under oath and therefore “not sufficient.”

“The University of Delaware should stop trying to hide records from the president’s decades of political activities. They should be public. This level of corruption should not be happening in America,” Daily Caller News Foundation President Neil Patel said.

And Judicial Watch chief Tom Fitton said, “This Delaware Supreme Court decision is a remarkable pushback on the University of Delaware’s secret deal with Joe Biden to hide his Senate records. In the meantime, why won’t President Biden simply release his Senate records? What is he trying to hide?”

Biden repeatedly has denied Reade’s allegations.

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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.

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