It follows a decision by Delaware Attorney General Kathleen Jennings to deny the group’s prior Freedom of Information Act request.
“Delaware is hiding, in violation of law, Joe Biden’s Senate records,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
“It is time for the University of Delaware to stop protecting Joe Biden and follow Delaware law, which requires them to provide public access to these public records,” he said.
The lawsuit may yield information about Biden’s former staffer Tara Reade, who has accused Biden of sexually assaulting her in 1993. She said that the University of Delaware may have access to the records about the accusation.
The records also contain communications between Biden and foreign leaders—specifically Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom Biden said he spoke with while he was a senator.
In the opinion rejecting the request, the Delaware Superior Court said the documents about Biden’s tenure in the Senate are not “public records” because they are not kept with public funds, JW reported in a press release.
Yet, the University of Delaware, a taxpayer-funded institution, supports the record-keeping project.
Attorneys for Judicial Watch argue in the lawsuit that public funding necessarily supports record-keeping at the University of Delaware’s library, since “the State of Delaware provides the University with approximately $120 million each year through an appropriation in the state budget.”
They also note that the state’s justice department did not justify its assertion that public funds do not pay for the housing of Biden’s Senate records.
JW said “archival storage space and professional staff members’ time are things of value that it can be inferred are paid for with public funds.”
In the lawsuit, JW asked for information about university employees “who maintain the Senatorial Papers whose salaries, it can be inferred, are paid with State funds.”
The Daily Caller News Foundation joined the lawsuit as a plaintiff.
“Anyone running for public office, especially our highest office, should expect public scrutiny of their record, especially of their public record,” said Neil Patel, president of the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“It’s amazing that Joe Biden’s public papers are still sealed and nobody else in the press seems to care,” he said. “We care and we are going to fight to get these records opened up as they should be.”
JW filed the FOIA lawsuit on July 2, 2020 in the Superior Court of the State of Delaware after Daily Caller’s FOIA request, which was submitted on April 30, 2020, was denied.
Daily Caller initially asked for agreements regarding “the storage of more than 1,850 boxes of archival records and 415 gigabytes of electronic records from Joe Biden’s senate career from 1973 through 2009.”
The group asked for documents of the communications between Biden or any of Biden’s associates and the staff at the University of Delaware regarding his Senate records.
Finally, Daily Caller sought “logs” or “sign-in sheets” to see who had accessed Biden’s Senate records since 2010.