Joe Biden’s Senate papers will stay under wraps until after 2020 election

News 3 January, 2020

Joe Biden’s papers from his 36 years in the Senate could have gone online on Dec. 31, but the university that Biden donated them to has changed its tune and plans to keep a lid on them until after the 2020 election.

Biden donated his Senate papers from 1973 to 2009 to the University of Delaware in 2011, and more than 1,850 boxes of records were delivered to the school in June 2012.

The university first said that the papers would go online no sooner than two years after Biden retired from “public office” or Dec. 31, 2019, or possibly even later if processing took more time.

But in April, the university changed its mind and pushed back the date once again, The Huffington Post reported Thursday.

“The records will be available no sooner than the later date of December 31, 2019, or two years after the donor retires from public life,” the university website now says now says.

Because Biden, who was vice president until January 2016, is running for president, the university still considers him to be in “public life,” a spokeswoman told The Washington Post in July.

The decision means that the papers — which could shed light on the former veep’s thinking about controversial issues during his time in the Senate — won’t be available for public scrutiny before Election Day.

The Biden campaign wouldn’t comment when asked by the website whether the Democratic frontrunner would want the papers to go online sooner.

Biden has been criticized for many of his actions in the Senate, which in hindsight have become red meat for his detractors, including his opposition to forced school busing, his handling of Clarence Thomas’ confirmation hearing and treatment of Anita Hill and his support of a tough, anti-crime bill in the 1990s.