Biden Asks Senate to Release Any Files Regarding Allegations

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(Bloomberg) -- Joe Biden sent a letter to the secretary of the Senate on Friday, instructing her to release any documentation related to Tara Reade’s allegations of sexual assault.

Earlier in the day, Biden denied Reade’s allegations that he sexually assaulted her when she worked in his Senate office in 1993, marking the first time the presumptive Democratic nominee addressed her accusations since she first made them publicly in March.

“I request that you take or direct whatever steps are necessary to establish the location of the records of this Office, and once they have been located, to direct a search for the alleged complaint and to make public the results of this search,” Biden wrote in the letter. “I would ask that the public release include not only a complaint if one exists, but any and all other documents in the records that relate to the allegation.”

On Friday morning, Biden directed the National Archives to release personnel records related to the matter, but a spokesman for the Archives said those records would have remained under the control of the Senate.

In late March, Reade said that in 1993 Biden pushed her against a wall in a Senate office building, put his hand up her skirt and sexually assaulted her with his fingers.

Reade has said she made a more formal harassment complaint to what was then called the Office of Fair Employment Practices in the Senate but does not have a copy of the document. The complaint, she has said, was about Biden making her feel uncomfortable and not about sexual assault. Reade’s brother and a former neighbor have told reporters they remember being told about the incident.

After weeks of refusing to address her claims, Biden put out a lengthy statement and went on MSNBC on Friday morning denying the allegations.

“It never happened,” he said. “I don’t remember any type of complaint she may have made. It was 27 years ago, and I don’t remember nor does anyone else that I’m aware of.”

Biden also repeatedly dismissed Reade’s calls for him to open up his sealed Senate archives at the University of Delaware, which he said do not contain any personnel files. Those files will not be made public until two years after Biden retires from “public life.”

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