UK Politics

University of Delaware Rejects FOIA Requests on Biden Records

The University of Delaware has refused to provide Fox News with a collection of senatorial papers linked to former Vice President Joe Biden, who is accused of sexual assault by his former staffer Tara Reade.

The news outlet reported Thursday that after it submitted requests for the records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) last month, the Delaware university cited a provision in the law that purportedly exempts it from disclosing information unrelated to “public funds.”

Fox News said it sent the the University of Delaware three FOIA requests on April 29 and April 30, asking for records which relate to Reades sexual assault allegations against the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

Reade, who worked for Biden when he was a U.S. senator, initially accused Biden of sexual harassment. She elevated her complaint to sexual assault this year.

One of the requests asked for records from 1993 which specifically contain the name “Tara Reade” by either her first or last name, or those which mention complaints filed against the former vice president “or any of the staffers in his Senate office.”

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Tara Reade poses for a photograph during an interview in Nevada City, Calif., on April 4, 2019. (Donald Thompson/AP Photo)

Another FOIA request asked the University of Delaware for “a copy of the gift agreement between the University of Delaware and Joseph R. Biden Jr.,” related to Bidens senatorial papers and “any other documents that relate to the universitys policy of releasing the records “no sooner than the later date of Dec. 31, 2019, or two years after the donor retires from public life.”

The requests were rejected on the basis that they “do not relate to the expenditure of public funds, as defined by FOIA,” the universitys Associate Vice President and General Counsel Jennifer Becnel-Guzzo said.

The third public records request sent by Fox News asked for “all correspondence involving any members of the University of Delawares board of trustees, the university president, or any employees of the university library” related to Bidens senatorial papers, or his presidential run after March 1—the same month Reade elevated her complaint against Biden to sexual assault.

Becnel-Guzzo told the news outlet that while the University of Delawares board meetings are subject to FOIA requests under Delawares FOIA law, there are no records of the matters being discussed by the universitys board of trustees.

“The candidacy of Joseph R. Biden, Jr. for president and the Joseph R. Biden, Jr. senatorial papers were never addressed in a meeting of the full board of trustees,” Becnel-Guzzo responded. “Therefore, the university has no public records responsive to your three requests.”

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Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden at an event in Wilmington, Delaware, on March 12, 2020. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

The university has previously said that documents related to when Biden was a U.S. senator representing DelaRead More From Source

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