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Operatives for Joe Biden's presidential campaign have reportedly looked through the secret Senate files that may potentially contain information about former aide Tara Reade's sexual assault allegation against the presumptive Democratic nominee.
Reade, who worked for Biden at the time, claims that the then-Delaware senator assaulted her in 1993 by forcibly penetrating her with his fingers after she had been sent to take his gym bag to him.
Operatives reportedly sent to look through the files
According to a Business Insider report, Biden campaign operatives were sent to look through the files, which are housed at the University of Delaware, in the spring 2019 just after he launched his presidential bid. The university made clear, however, that no one has accessed the files since mid-March of this year when the school closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The archived files, which are sealed to the public, span Biden's 36-year Senate career, and have been kept under lock-and-key by the university since 2012.
The university previously said it planned to make the files publicly available two years after Biden's last day in public office, which would have been Jan. 20, 2019. But after Biden decided to run for president, the timetable was revised until two years after Biden "retires from public life" or two years after Dec. 31, 2019, whichever comes later.
Thus far, the university has stood by its refusal to release the files despite mounting pressure for them to unseal the documents.
Reade thinks the files contain crucial evidence
Reade suspects that the archive may contain corroborating evidence for her claims, such as a sexual harassment complaint she allegedly filed with the Senate in 1993.
Reade told Business Insider that Biden's chief of staff at the time, Ted Kaufman, took notes during a meeting she had with him about Biden's harassment, though he claims the meeting never occurred.
"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 argued.
Reade has previously called on the university to release some or all of the documents, which she says could contain a host of other evidence, as well.
"I believe [the archive] will have my complaint form, as well as my separation letter and other documents," she told Fox News earlier this week. "Maybe if other staffers that have tried to file complaints would come to light — why are they under seal? And why won't they be released to the public?"
It doesn't help that several University of Delaware board members have close personal and financial ties with the former vice president.
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