What’s in the archives? Panicked Biden tries to dodge search for sexual assault claims proof in bizarre Morning Joe interview
Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden came off panicked in an interview that was supposed to put the Tara Reade sexual assault allegations to rest, raising questions about what incriminating evidence is in his archives. Read Full Article...
Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden came off panicked in an interview that was supposed to put the Tara Reade sexual assault allegations to rest, raising questions about what incriminating evidence is in his archives.
An increasingly nervous Biden appeared to unravel before viewers' eyes in an interview with Mika Brzezinski on Morning Joe on Friday. The former vice president became noticeably agitated as the host pushed him to allow a search for former Senate staffer Tara Reade's name in his personal archives at the University of Delaware, records the university recently ordered re-sealed until two years after Biden "retires from public life."
The candidate declared he was "absolutely certain" there was nothing related to Reade or her sexual assault claim against Biden, or any "personnel records" at all, but was nevertheless adamant that the records not be searched even for her name. Claiming to be concerned that other material in the university archives could become "fodder in a campaign," Biden insisted any search be limited to the National Archives in Maryland.
While Biden went on to emphatically deny Reade's claims that he had pinned her up against a wall and forcefully penetrated her with his finger back in 1993, many took his appalling interview performance as evidence of guilt. Why, they asked, was he so reluctant to allow a search of the university papers?
Biden campaign officials had occasion to "rifle through" the University of Delaware archives themselves at least once in the past year, according to Business Insider. It's not clear what they were looking for, or what if anything was removed – Reade came forward with the details of her alleged sexual assault by Biden in late March, after the university library had closed due to the coronavirus epidemic, meaning it is highly unlikely anyone has accessed the archive since then.
However, given multiple other allegations of inappropriate touching leveled against Biden, supported by a truly preposterous amount of photographic evidence of Biden's touchy-feely behavior, some suspected the campaign used its previous visit to scrutinize the archives for any material that could be weaponized to support the allegations.
Many took a dim view of Biden's confidence that a search of the National Archives would come up clean, noting – among other things – that the office he confidently asserted would hold the complaint did not keep its records in the Archives, that the records in question are sealed until 2043, and that the filing process was at the time so complicated that less than a quarter of attempted complaints were formalized. Additionally, important papers have taken a walk from the de facto historical record in the past, including at the hands of Sandy Berger, the former national security adviser to President Bill Clinton. And the political establishment is certainly no stranger to memory-holing inconvenient records.
However, political conviction seemed to be the ultimate deciding factor in whether viewers interpreted the Morning Joe interview favorably. Wielding the twin swords of whataboutism and wrongthink-shaming, Biden fans rushed to his defense.