Government watchdog Judicial Watch and a news nonprofit are suing the University of Delaware over the college’s refusal to release records from former Vice President Joe Biden’s time in the Senate.
“The University of Delaware should stop protecting Joe Biden and provide the public access to his public records, as Delaware law requires,” Tim Fitton, Judicial Watch’s president, said in a statement.
The Daily Caller News Foundation joined the nonprofit in suing the university.
“The University of Delaware should do the right thing and turn over Joe Biden’s public records as required by law,” added the foundation’s president, Neil Patel. “Partisan gamesmanship by a public university is unseemly and unlawful. If they don’t want to do the right thing, we will force them in court.”
A university spokeswoman didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Judicial Watch and the foundation submitted Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for any and all records pertaining to Biden’s tenure in Congress, as well as related notes.
The university denied the request on May 20, about three weeks after the submission, alleging that public funds aren’t used to support the Biden papers. The Delaware Department of Justice later ruled that the university did not violate the act when it declined to release the Senate papers and other documents.
The groups allege in the new suit that the Department of Justice improperly sought to shift the burden of proof to them, instead of the university.
The university’s claim that no public funds were used to support the papers was taken at face value without factual support, the suit alleges. And the opinions erred by concluding that the papers are not public records.
The suit asks the Superior Court of Delaware to acknowledge the errors and order the university produce all public records responsive to the FOIA requests.
Biden’s campaign didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Biden represented Delaware as a U.S. senator from 1973 to 2009 before becoming vice president.
The University of Delaware in 2012 acquired records from his time in the Senate, including more than 1,850 boxes and extensive electronic data, and was scheduled to release them to the public in 2019.
But just before Biden announced he was running for president, the school said the documents wouldn’t be released until the later date of Dec. 31, 2019, or two years after Biden retires from public life.
Andrea Boyle Tippett, a spokeswoman for the college, told The Epoch Times in an email on May 1 that researchers are currently curating the collection.
“As the curating process is not complete, the papers are not yet available to the public,” she said.
She highlighted a portion of a statement from Biden, who claimed the papers do not contain personnel files.
Calls for the papers to be released gained fresh steam after Tara Reade, a former staffer for Biden, accused him of sexually assaulting her.
Biden denied the accusation but refused to ask for a narrow search of her name in the records.
Biden asked Julie Adams, secretary of the Senate, to request a search in the National Archives, but the archives told The Epoch Times that any personnel complaints would have remained under the control of the Senate.
Senate lawyers told Adams that she couldn’t disclose any complaints pertaining to Biden, a spokeswoman for Adams told The Epoch Times.
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