Former Vice President Joe Biden said Friday morning that the papers from his Senate career could not be released while he was seeking public office because of the risk they could be used politically against him.
However, Biden, like other Democrats, has demanded that President Donald Trump release his tax returns.
Biden appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe to address allegations of sexual assault by former aide Tara Reade, who has filed a police report in Washington, DC, based on an incident she said happened in the Senate in 1993.
He denied her accusations.
Co-host Mika Brzezinski asked Biden why he did not grant open access to papers from his Senate career that he had given to the University of Delaware. The following exchange ensued:
Brzezinski: The first [question], about the University of Delaware records. Do you agree with the reporting that those records were supposed to be revealed to the public and then they were resealed for a longer time until, quote, after you leave public life. And if you agree with that, if that’s what happened, why did that happen?
Biden: The fact is, that there’s are a lot of things — speeches I’ve made, positions I’ve taken, interviews that I did overseas with people, all of those things relating to my job. And the idea that they would all be made public, and the fact while I was running for public office, they could really be taken out of context. The papers are position papers — they are documents that existed, for example, when I met with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, or when I met with whomever. And all of that to be fodder in a campaign at this time — I don’t know of anybody who’s done anything like that. …
Brzezinski: I’m asking why not do the same [as the National Archives] in the University of Delaware records, which have raised questions because they were supposed to be revealed to the public, and then they were sealed for a longer period of time. Why not do it for both sets of records?
Biden: Because the material in the University of Delaware has no personnel files, but it does have a lot of confidential personal conversations that I had with the president about a particular issue, that I had with the heads of states of other places. That that would not be something that be revealed while I was in public office, or while I was seeking public office. It just stands to reason — to the best of my knowledge, no one else has done that either.
Biden told President Trump in October 2019: “Release your tax returns or shut up.”
As Breitbart News has reported, the University of Delaware changed its criteria for the Biden archive on April 24, 2019 — the day before Biden launched his presidential campaign — such that “documents would now be made public on Dec. 31 or ‘two years’ after the former vice president ‘retires from public life.’ At the time, the university provided no definition for what it considered ‘public life,’ leaving open the final date for release.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.