The University of Delaware Finds Itself At Ground Zero Of Biden Sexual Assault Controversy

imagesIt is rare for a university to find itself at the center of a national political scandal but the  University of Delaware is being pummeled over its refusal to release possible documents related to allegation of sexual assault against former Vice President Joe Biden.  Biden, who graduated from the school and served as Delaware’s senator, gave his paper from the Senate to the university in 2011.  Among the papers may be the formal complaint filed by former Biden Senate staffer, Tara Reade. However, the university is refusing to release the papers.  Papers like the Washington Post have called on Biden to release all of the personnel papers. Years ago, I wrote an academic paper criticizing this control of presidential and official papers – contesting the view of politicians that these papers are personal property. I also testified in Congress against this classification of official papers as personal property. As discussed in earlier columns, this is an example of how abusive this approach can be.

220px-Biden_2013Biden’s 2011 donation of his Senate records is a common gesture of former politicians to their alma maters.   That donation encompassed at least 1,875 boxes of documents and 415 gigabytes of electronic records that Biden donated to the University of Delaware in 2011.

The Washington Post reported that the University made a critical change in the expected release date of the document just before Biden announced his run for president.

Starting in 2011 and for years after, the university had described the terms of the agreement as keeping the papers sealed “for two years after Biden retires from public office.” But this year, on the day before Biden announced his presidential campaign, the university changed the way that it described those terms.

Instead of citing his departure from “public office,” the university said the documents would not be made public until two years after Biden “retires from public life” or after Dec. 31, 2019, whichever is later. It did not define what is considered “public life.”

This has been a long-standing issue.  In 2002, I addressed the issue in terms of presidential record: United States House of Representatives, Committee on Government Reform, Subcommittee on Government Management, Information, and Technology, “H.R. 4187: The Presidential Records Act Amendments of 2002,” April 24, 2002. I also wrote a law review article on this subject:  Presidential Records and Popular Government: The Convergence of Constitutional and Property Theory in Claims of Control and Ownership of Presidential Records 88 Cornell Law Review 651-732 (2003).

There is no reason why presidents and senators should treat official documents filed in their offices as their personal property.  The Presidential Records Act, for example, allows a president to not only conceal material but appoint his own loyalists to make critical decisions on whether and when material can be reviewed.  Presidents can unilaterally declare matter as privilege and nonpublic to protect themselves from embarrassment and the judgment of history.

This is wrong.  Those personnel records from Biden’s public service are public records, not his.  By giving the papers to the University of Delaware, Biden selected a university with a Board packed with Biden loyalists.  However, in fairness to Biden, he is doing what politicians have been doing for decades under rules that they designed precisely for this purpose. It is time to end this absurd privatization of public records for presidents and members of Congress alike.

For Biden, the solution is simple and obvious: release his records so the public can fully judge the merits for itself.

Delaware’s motto is Scientia Sol Mentis Est or Knowledge is the light of the mind.  This is using an academic gift to shield a politicians and ensure darkness in an area demanding light.


127 thoughts on “The University of Delaware Finds Itself At Ground Zero Of Biden Sexual Assault Controversy”

  1. This Kabuki theater is wildly entertaining! Who knew that the end of the bankster banana republic would be so chock full of laughs.
    We’re all in this together but keep your distance, only two rolls per comrade, follow the X marks on the floor for the good of the collective.
    Rubes don’t have the right to see the high powered intellectual papers of esteemed party member Joey corn pops lunchbox.

    1. Very well played, comrade. Do you, by chance, write for The People’s Cube? If not, you should consider it.

  2. Career Prosecutor Finds Holes In Tara Reade Allegations. Part 5

    ►The lie about losing her job. Reade told The Union that Biden wanted her to serve drinks at an event. After she refused, “she felt pushed out and left Biden’s employ,” the newspaper said last April. But Reade claimed this month in her Times interview that after she filed a sexual harassment complaint with the Senate personnel office, she faced retaliation and was fired by Biden’s chief of staff.

    Leaving a job after refusing to serve drinks at a Biden fundraiser is vastly different than being fired as retaliation for filing a sexual harassment complaint with the Senate. The disparity raises questions about Reade’s credibility and account of events.

    ►Compliments for Biden. In the 1990s, Biden worked to pass the Violence Against Women Act. In 2017, on multiple occasions, Reade retweeted or “liked” praise for Biden and his work combating sexual assault. In the same year, Reade tweeted other compliments of Biden, including: “My old boss speaks truth. Listen.” It is bizarre that Reade would publicly laud Biden for combating the very thing she would later accuse him of doing to her.

    ►Rejecting Biden, embracing Sanders. By this January, Reade was all in for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Her unwavering support was accompanied by an unbridled attack on Biden. In an article on Medium, Reade referred to Biden as “the blue version of Trump.” Reade also pushed a Sanders/Elizabeth Warren ticket, while complaining that the Democratic National Committee was trying to “shove” Biden “down Democrat voters throats.”

    Despite her effusive 2017 praise for Biden’s efforts on behalf of women, after pledging her support to Sanders, Reade turned on Biden and contradicted all she said before. She claimed that her decision to publicly accuse Biden of inappropriately touching her was due to “the hypocrisy that Biden is supposed to be the champion of women’s rights.”

    ►Love of Russia and Putin. During 2017 when Reade was praising Biden, she was condemning Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s efforts to hijack American democracy in the 2016 election. This changed in November 2018, when Reade trashed the United States as a country of “hypocrisy and imperialism” and “not a democracy at all but a corporate autocracy.”

    Reade’s distaste for America closely tracked her new infatuation with Russia and Putin. She referred to Putin as a “genius” with an athletic prowess that “is intoxicating to American women.” Then there’s this gem: “President Putin has an alluring combination of strength with gentleness. His sensuous image projects his love for life, the embodiment of grace while facing adversity.”

    In March 2019, Reade essentially dismissed the idea of Russian interference in the 2016 American presidential election as hype. She said she loved Russia and her Russian relatives — and “like most women across the world, I like President Putin … a lot, his shirt on or shirt off.”

    Edited from: “Why I’m Skeptical About Reades Sexual Assault Claim Against Biden, Ex Prosecutor”

    USA Today, 4/30/20

    1. Paint Chip’s has brought loads of evidence forward. The evidence comes from all sorts of sites that have political bias but that is OK because that side put a lot of money into providing a singular side to the story.

      However, they haven’t proven their case or explained all the details behind Reade’s accusations.

      That is why there is a justice system. 2 sides not one (Lenin and Stalin had one side to their justice system, their own.)

      I encourage all those who believe Biden is innocent to provide their information to the justice system and all those who believe differently to do so as well. Then the justice system can do a fair impartial investigation.

      AS we can see and hear Paint Chips is only interested in one side being heard. He is not calling for an investigation rather he is asking to close it down despite the fact that Reade has the tangible proof Ford lacked and doesn’t have the problem of witnesses that deny what Ford claimed.

      If one is looking for fairness and honesty one won’t find it in the Paint Chips can.

      1. You’re never going to demonstrate much one way or another with a 27 year old allegation. Documentation from the congressional personnel apparat would be another nail in the coffin to the idea that Reade concocted this charge six weeks ago for objects in the present day. We have a satisfactory idea already that this is not so, unless of course you fancy there were multiple women living around San Luis Obispo, Calif. in 1993 whose daughters had recently been discharged from employment in Congress subsequent to filing a grievance about their handsy boss.

        Again, find me a partisan Democrat who did not take Christine Blasey Fraud seriously. If ever there was an emperor’s-new-clothes allegation, that was it. When they figured they couldn’t sell it anymore, they moved to a different square on the board and made a different set of BS claims. There is simply no value to partisan Democrats as civil actors and not one of them has any integrity at all.

        1. “You’re never going to demonstrate much one way or another with a 27 year old allegation”

          DSS, I agree and as I said earlier I find it difficult to accept any case that is that old as credible enough for prosecution even if I believe the woman. Same with Ford except she was absent proof that Reade seems to have.

          I advocate for a judicial system and our leaders not to have double standards, but the Democrats from the Democratic Party that stick with this garbage should create a new party, the Double Standard Party and in that way they would at least be honest in their intent.

          I think you guessed a bit of my history so you can figure out why I find these people so abominable.

    2. Seth:

      I have no idea if Tara Reade is telling the truth or not. I am still looking into the allegations. However, my first thought was that when a Republican is accused of sexual assault, the general consensus is that there is some sort of truth gene in the X chromosome. I always thought that “all women should be believed” was absurd. Women are just as capable of lying as men. Gender has nothing whatsoever to do with truthfulness.

      I felt like I was up against a brick wall explaining this to people during the Kavanaugh hearing. My position is that each accusation has to be analyzed and proven, and that the gender of the victim has nothing to do with their truthfulness. I was accused of promoting rape.

      If someone accused Joe Biden of creepily smelling her hair against her wishes, I’d believe her. Past predicts future, and there is a well established trend. But rape is on a different order of magnitude, and has to be proven.

      I get frustrated with these assault allegations that surface years, sometimes decades later. A woman might have some pressing, sincere reasons for not filing a criminal complaint, as well as a misconduct complaint in the case of a public servant. Whatever reasons for her choice, there are consequences to that. You can’t abstain from filing an official complaint, and then expect to be believed based on your word years later. There may be corroborating evidence that can help prove your case. It’s just harder.

      That was one of the problems with Juanita Broderick. She did not file a police complaint at the time, plus I believe it predated DNA evidence. She did have corroboration of the bite to her lip. There is some evidence. However, I do not think it would be enough to convict Bill Clinton. Broderick and Reade’s accusations are relevant to political figures, but after all this time, it’s just very difficult to prove.

      You know I’m no fan of Joe Biden, but fair is fair. Allegations have to be proven. We’ll see what comes out.

      Also, Reade’s political affiliation might provide a motive for lying, but it does not prove she is lying. Let’s see what we can find out.

  3. Career Prosecutor Finds Holes In Tara Reads Allegations, Part 4

    ►Missing formal complaint. Reade told The Times she filed a written complaint against Biden with the Senate personnel office. But The Times could not find any complaint. When The Times asked Reade for a copy of the complaint, she said she did not have it. Yet she maintained and provided a copy of her 1993 Senate employment records.

    It is odd that Reade kept a copy of her employment records but did not keep a copy of a complaint documenting criminal conduct by a man whose improprieties changed “the trajectory” of her life. It’s equally odd The Times was unable to find a copy of the alleged Senate complaint.

    ►Memory lapse. Reade has said that she cannot remember the date, time or exact location of the alleged assault, except that it occurred in a “semiprivate” area in corridors connecting Senate buildings. After I left the Justice Department, I was appointed by the federal court in Los Angeles to represent indigent defendants. The first thing that comes to mind from my defense attorney perspective is that Reade’s amnesia about specifics makes it impossible for Biden to go through records and prove he could not have committed the assault, because he was somewhere else at the time.

    For instance, if Reade alleged Biden assaulted her on the afternoon of June 3, 1993, Biden might be able to prove he was on the Senate floor or at the dentist. Her memory lapses could easily be perceived as bulletproofing a false allegation. 

    Edited from: “Why I’m Skeptical About Reade’s Sexual Assault Claim Against Biden: Ex Prosecutor”

    Today’s USA Today

  4. Career Prosecutor Finds Holes In Tara Reade Allegations, Part 3

    ►People who contradict Reade’s claim.

    After the alleged assault, Reade said she complained about Biden’s harassment to Marianne Baker, Biden’s executive assistant, as well as to top aides Dennis Toner and Ted Kaufman. All three Biden staffers recently told The New York Times that she made no complaint to them.

    And they did not offer the standard, noncommittal “I don’t remember any such complaint.” The denials were firm. “She did not come to me. If she had, I would have remembered her,” Kaufman said. Toner made a similar statement. And from Baker: “I never once witnessed, or heard of, or received, any reports of inappropriate conduct (by Biden), period.” Baker said such a complaint, had Reade made it, “would have left a searing impression on me as a woman professional, and as a manager.”

    Edited From: “Why I’m Skeptical About Reade’s Sexual Assault Claim Against Biden: Ex Prosecutor”

  5. This appears to be a cunning move to hide public records.

    I do question whether the personnel records portion would be considered public. After all, releasing them would violate the privacy of the employee, in addition to Joe Biden. It was my understanding that personnel records were generally kept confidential. I could be wrong, however.

    I have the same concern with Tara Reade’s allegations as I do any criminal allegation made decades after the fact. Physical evidence is gone. I don’t remember what I did at any given time last week, let alone in the 90s. Most people would be completely unable to defend themselves against ancient allegations of misconduct. How can you prove you didn’t do something?

    I have not seen the evidence that Ms Reade has presented. It is possible that she can prove her case. But it’s darn hard to prove without video evidence after a few decades.

    Parents need to raise their daughters to know exactly how to handle the worst if it happens. Go straight to the police and nail the b*(&D. Also file a complaint with the correct office if he is a public servant. Even if there is insufficient evidence, there will be a public record. A paper trail. And if the person re-offends, there will be a trend in conduct on record that may help put him away. Women feel embarrassed, ashamed, they want it all to go away, or they blame themselves. Maybe they worry about having to talk about it in public. For a variety of reasons, it is common for women not to report sexual assault. It is also true that some women fabricate tales of sexual assault, for revenge, political reason, a psychopathic glee at hurting someone, or for any number of reasons.

    No one has any idea if she’s telling the truth or not, until and unless she proves the allegation. That’s easier done at the time of the alleged assault. If she is telling the truth, then I hope she laid down some sort of trail of evidence that will help her case.

    Past predicts future. If someone accused Joe Biden of smelling her hair in a really creepy way, I’d believe her. But sexual assault is a step farther, and it has to be proven. Whatever the truth is, I hope it comes out.

  6. Career Prosecutor Finds Holes In Tara Reade Allegations, Part 2

    ►Implausible explanation for changing story. When Reade went public with her sexual assault allegation in March, she said she wanted to do it in an interview with The Union newspaper in California last April. She said the reporter’s tone made her feel uncomfortable and “I just really got shut down” and didn’t tell the whole story.

    It is hard to believe a reporter would discourage this kind of scoop. Regardless, it’s also hard to accept that it took Reade 12 months to find another reporter eager to break that bombshell story. This unlikely explanation damages her credibility.

    Edited from: “Why I’m Skeptical About Reade’s Sexual Assault Claim Against Biden: Ex-Prosecutor

    USA Today, 4/30/20

    1. Prosecutor skeptical because of air tight alibi:

      “I didn’t do it” Harvey Weinstein
      “I didn’t do it” Matt Laurer
      “I didn’t do it” Joe Biden

  7. Career Prosecutor Looks At Reade’s Allegations And Finds Holes

    During 28 years as a state and federal prosecutor, I prosecuted a lot of sexual assault cases. The vast majority came early in my career, when I was a young attorney at a prosecutor’s office outside Detroit.

    A year ago, Tara Reade accused former Vice President Joe Biden of touching her shoulder and neck in a way that made her uncomfortable, when she worked for him as a staff assistant in 1993. Then last month, Reade told an interviewer that Biden stuck his hand under her skirt and forcibly penetrated her with his fingers. Biden denies the allegation.

    When women make allegations of sexual assault, my default response is to believe them. But as the news media have investigated Reade’s allegations, I’ve become increasingly skeptical. Here are some of the reasons why:

    ►Delayed reporting … twice. Reade waited 27 years to publicly report her allegation that Biden sexually assaulted her. I understand that victims of sexual assault often do not come forward immediately because recounting the most violent and degrading experience of their lives, to a bunch of strangers, is the proverbial insult to injury. That so many women were willing to wait in my dreary government office, as I ran to the restroom to pull myself together after listening to their stories, is a testament to their fortitude.

    Even so, it is reasonable to consider a 27-year reporting delay when assessing the believability of any criminal allegation. More significant perhaps, is Reade’s decision to sit down with a newspaper last year and accuse Biden of touching her in a sexual way that made her uncomfortable — but neglect to mention her claim that he forcibly penetrated her with his fingers.

    As a lawyer and victims’ rights advocate, Reade was better equipped than most to appreciate that dramatic changes in sexual assault allegations severely undercut an accuser’s credibility — especially when the change is from an uncomfortable shoulder touch to vaginal penetration.

    Edited from: “Why I’m Skeptical About Reade’s Sexual Assault Claim Against Biden: Ex Prosecutor”, by Micheal Stern, Former Federal Prosecutor: Detroit and Los Angeles

    USA TODAY, April 30 2020

  8. I wonder why Joe Biden seems to cogitate in fits and starts.

    Brain surgeries

    In 1988, Biden suffered two brain aneurysms, one on the right side and one on the left. Each required surgery with high risk of long-term impact on brain functionality. In February 1988, after suffering from several episodes of increasingly severe neck pain, Biden was taken by long-distance ambulance to Walter Reed Army Medical Center and given lifesaving surgery to correct an intracranial berry aneurysm that had begun leaking.[103][104] While recuperating, he suffered a pulmonary embolism, a major complication.[104]

    Another operation to repair a second aneurysm, which had caused no symptoms but was at risk of bursting, was performed in May 1988.[104][105] The hospitalization and recovery kept Biden from his duties in the Senate for seven months.[53] Biden has had no recurrences or effects from the aneurysms since then.[104]

    In retrospect, Biden’s family came to believe the early end to his presidential campaign had been a blessing in disguise, for had he still been campaigning in 1988, he might well not have stopped to seek medical attention and the condition might have become unsurvivable.[106][107] In 2013, Biden said, “they take a saw and they cut your head off” and “they literally had to take the top of my head off.” He also said he was told he would have less than a 50% chance of full recovery.[108]

    In 2019, the neurosurgeon who operated on Biden in 1988 said he felt Biden was fit to run for president, and joked, “… he’s the only politician in Washington I’m sure has a brain, because I’ve seen it.”

    – Wiki

  9. Hasn’t Joe Biden been a Senator from Delaware-cum-Vice President for 45 years? Isn’t Delaware the 2nd smallest state?

    How Delaware Thrives as a Corporate Tax Haven (Excerpted) By Leslie Wayne June 30, 2012 WILMINGTON, Del.

    NOTHING about 1209 North Orange Street hints at the secrets inside. It’s a humdrum office building, a low-slung affair with a faded awning and a view of a parking garage. Hardly worth a second glance. If a first one. But behind its doors is one of the most remarkable corporate collections in the world: 1209 North Orange, you see, is the legal address of no fewer than 285,000 separate businesses.
    Its occupants, on paper, include giants like American Airlines, Apple, Bank of America, Berkshire Hathaway, Cargill, Coca-Cola, Ford, General Electric, Google, JPMorgan Chase, and Wal-Mart. These companies do business across the nation and around the world. Here at 1209 North Orange, they simply have a dropbox. “You can have companies in Delaware that have no U.S. bank accounts, no requirements for documentation and no one knows who owns them,” says Anthony B. Travers, chairman of the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange and former chairman of that country’s Financial Services Association. “There should be a level playing field and Delaware should have to comply with the same standards as the Caymans.”

    The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, an international group based in Sarajevo, has identified other Eastern Europeans with Delaware links. Among them is Laszlo Kiss, an Romanian accountant and author of “United States, Tax Heaven — Uncle Sam Will Fight Your Taxes!” that praised the state’s lax rules. He is now awaiting trial in Bucharest on charges of helping embezzle and launder $10 million through Delaware shells. “Delaware is the state that requires the least amount of information,” says David Finzer, the chief executive of Capital Conservator, a registration agent that sets up accounts in Delaware and elsewhere for non-United States citizens. “Basically, it requires none. Delaware has the most secret companies in the world and the easiest to form.” Mr. Finzer, an American based in Novi Sad, Serbia, advertises his services online. “Tax-Free Havens for Non-U.S. Citizens,” his Web site, says. It goes on: “More than 50 percent of the major corporations in the world are incorporated in Delaware. Why? Because in provides the anonymity that most offshore jurisdictions do not offer.”

    “Delaware serves as a domestic tax haven, much like the Cayman Islands serves as an offshore foreign tax haven, and offers a similar level of tax avoidance,” the report states. American corporations find the Caymans alluring for many reasons. There, they can operate in relative secrecy, attract more foreign customers, avoid regulation and enjoy a low tax rate. In one respect, however, Delaware is even better than the Caymans. At some point, American companies have to bring back their foreign profits from the Caymans and pay federal taxes. But in Delaware, the state tax savings through the Delaware loophole are permanent. And on the reputational front, “Delaware doesn’t carry the same stigma as the Caymans or Bermuda,” Mr. Lindsay said, adding, “Why not attract business to my little state and get something at the expense of the other states?” WorldCom, the telecom giant that collapsed into bankruptcy after an accounting scandal, could be a symbol for the Delaware loophole. Bankruptcy court filings showed that the company had cut $20 billion from state taxes thanks to an intangible asset it called “management foresight.” Delaware subsidiaries are especially popular with global energy and mining companies like Exxon, Chevron and Rio Tinto. Among the top 10, some 915 subsidiaries have been set up in Delaware, compared with 51 in Switzerland and 49 in the Caymans, according to a report last September by the Norway chapter of Publish What You Pay, a London-based group that studies natural resources. The study said that this allows these resource extraction companies to put up a “wall of silence” about their far-flung operations and profits, especially from poor countries that may want a greater slice of the revenue. Exxon, Chevron and Rio Tinto declined to comment.

    STATES like Pennsylvania are increasingly fed up. More than 400 corporate subsidiaries linked to Marcellus Shale gas exploration have been registered in Delaware, most within the last four years, according to the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, a nonprofit group based in Harrisburg that studies the state’s tax policy. In 2004, the center estimated that the Delaware loophole had cost the state $400 million annually in lost revenue — and that was before the energy boom. More than two-thirds of the companies in the Marcellus Shale Coalition, an industry alliance based in Pittsburgh, are registered to a single address: 1209 North Orange Street, according to the center.
    “So many of these Marcellus Shale companies have figured out that it is fairly easy to siphon profits from Pennsylvania, so that they don’t pay taxes here,” said Michael Wood, research director at the Harrisburg center. The center is urging Pennsylvania to try to close the Delaware loophole. But it is running into opposition from Pennsylvania companies that want to retain the break. And, in Delaware, state officials say that their approach to business is good for America.

    “We have a system that is the greatest creator of wealth in the history of the world,” said Mr. Geisenberger, the Delaware official. “We will not support any changes that change the friendliness of American business and close our doors to capital formation and the ease of doing business.”

    – New York Times

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