Updated at 5:55 p.m. ET on April 30, 2020.
Tara Reade’s allegation against Joe Biden is not going away. Reade, who worked on his Senate staff in the 1990s, accuses Biden of sexually assaulting her in a hallway. Last week, The Intercept discovered a 1993 call to the talk-show host Larry King from a woman who Reade says was her now-deceased mother. The call, which refers to “problems” that the woman’s daughter had while “working for a prominent senator,” does not prove that Reade is telling the truth. But it does buttress her claim that she told her mother about an assault at the time.
Then, yesterday, Business Insider interviewed a former neighbor who said, on the record, that Reade told her in the mid-’90s that Biden had pushed her against a wall, put his fingers under her skirt, and digitally penetrated her.* Business Insider also talked to a woman who worked with Reade after she left Biden’s office, who remembered Reade saying she had been sexually harassed by her boss in Washington, D.C.
None of this means Biden is guilty. But it does mean the presumptive Democratic nominee should unseal his Senate papers so that the public has a better chance of finding out.
In 2012, Biden delivered 1,875 boxes of “photographs, documents, videotapes, and files” and 415 gigabytes of electronic records to his alma mater, the University of Delaware. They covered his entire 36-year Senate career. At the time, the university said it expected to make the papers “available to the public two years after Biden’s last day in elected public office.” Biden left the vice presidency in January 2017, and January 2019 came and went with no papers released. Then, on April 24, 2019, the day before Biden announced his presidential campaign, the university revised the schedule. The papers would now remain sealed until December 31, 2019, or until two years after Biden “retires from public life,” whichever came later. That means Americans likely won’t learn what’s in his papers before they vote for president this fall.