NYT's Ben Smith: 'Ask Biden to open his personal papers to inspection' after sexual assault allegation

New York Times media columnist Ben Smith called on presumptive Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE to “open his personal papers to inspection” regarding an allegation of sexual assault by former Senate staffer Tara Reade.

Smith, a former editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed, also called out “media decision-makers” for believing they can control whether Reade’s story is worthy of coverage. 

“The thing about Reade story — and many like it — is that media decision-makers still operate under illusion they control whether it’s a story,” Smith wrote to his more than 300,000 followers on Wednesday. “Why not shortcut the handwringing, and ask Biden to open his personal papers to inspection, which is where this is headed anyway?” 


Reade on Tuesday also called on Biden to release records from his time as a Delaware senator, a span of 36 years, asking in a Fox News interview on Tuesday why the documents aren’t being made public.  

“I’m calling for the release of the documents being held by the University of Delaware that contain Biden’s staff personnel records because I believe it will have my complaint form, as well as my separation letter and other documents,” Reade said. “Maybe if other staffers that have tried to file complaints would come to light — why are they under seal? And why won’t they be released to the public?” 


Biden’s campaign has denied the claim from Reade, who says Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993, though the former vice president has not discussed the matter. He also hasn’t been asked about it in any interviews with national or local news outlets that have been published or broadcast.

Media coverage of the allegations has increased in the past week after Reade’s former neighbor Lynda LaCasse said that she recalled Reade recounting her story of the alleged assault to her in 1993.

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Warren, Pressley introduce bill to make it a crime for police officers to deny medical care to people in custody Senate Dems press DOJ over coronavirus safety precautions in juvenile detention centers MORE (D-N.Y.) and former Georgia state Rep. Stacey Abrams (D), who is reportedly on Biden’s list of possible running mates, have been asked about the allegation in interviews this week. Both said in Tuesday interviews they stood with Biden.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote GOP senator to try to reverse requirement that Pentagon remove Confederate names from bases No, ‘blue states’ do not bail out ‘red states’ MORE (R-Ky.) also raised the issue of a double standard in coverage of allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughGOP senators urge Trump to back off Murkowski threat Judd Gregg: A government in free fall The 7 most anticipated Supreme Court decisions MORE and of those against Biden this week and said all such cases should be treated the same way.

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