Huge Stash of Joe Biden Papers Still Hidden at the University of Delaware
In all the news of classified documents at Joe Biden’s homes and elsewhere, one huge pile of documents has been mostly overlooked by everyone – but not us.
We’ve been fighting in court with the University of Delaware for more than two years for access to Biden’s Senate papers housed there.
Here’s the latest.
We filed a reply brief on behalf of the Daily Caller News Foundation in the Supreme Court of Delaware in our appeal of a lower court decision blocking access to Joe Biden’s senate papers. We’re asking for limited discovery, including, at a minimum, deposing a university representative.
In July 2020 we filed a Delaware Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit after the university denied our April 2020 requests for all of Biden’s Senate records and for records about the preservation and any proposed release of the records, including communications with Biden or his representatives (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. University of Delaware, (No. N20A-07-001)).
Earlier this month we filed an appeal brief with the Delaware Supreme Court after the Superior Court sided with the university, finding that the university had met its burden of performing an adequate search for the requested records. That opinion came after the university had submitted a second affidavit from the university’s FOIA official stating that no state funds had been spent on maintaining the documents.
In our Supreme Court filing, we argue:
Despite FOIA’s acknowledgment that “public entities, as instruments of government, should not have the power to decide what is good for the public to know,” over the multi-year course of this FOIA proceeding, the University’s efforts to satisfy its statutory burden of proof have been parceled out piecemeal, in minuscule increments, and only in response to court orders, entered after briefing by Appellants. When the shortcomings of the University’s effort are noted in briefing, the University calls “foul.” The University’s umbrage at these proceedings is misplaced. To date, the FOIA Coordinator’s efforts (and her recollections of what steps she took) remain untested by cross examination. Appellants have every right to challenge what they believe has been a lackluster effort by the University to satisfy its statutory burden.
Separately, in a January 26, 2023, letter to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Delaware attorney Ted A. Kittila, who serves as our local counsel, details:
Based on what we have learned, there are 1,850 boxes of documents and 415 gigabytes of electronic records. [Emphasis in original] To place this in perspective, we have described the amount of boxes alone as filling approximately two tractor trailer trucks.
[W]here are the funds coming from to house and archive the Biden Records? We have heard rumors that comments on a draft of the Gift Agreement may have been located on the Hunter Biden laptop, raising further questions: why would Hunter Biden be commenting on the donation of the Biden Records, and what was his role with respect to the donation?
In our view, the United States House of Representatives would have the power to subpoena all of these documents. Unlike an effort to obtain public disclosure of documents under FOIA, a subpoena would have the power to compel the release of these documents. We believe that given President Biden’s alleged mishandling of documents, it is imperative for the House to review the Biden Records to determine that no classified materials are in the collection, especially given the fact that we do not even know if the person or persons reviewing these documents have security clearance. The House should also be interested in who has funded what is obviously a substantial donation. With the Gift Agreement out of reach, this remains an unanswered concern. Finally, the House should have particular interest in who has had access to the Biden Documents. Even if we were able to obtain access to the Biden Records, we have no idea if there have been documents removed during the course of the Delaware litigation.
“The University of Delaware’s conduct throughout this case totally reeks,” said DCNF Managing Editor Michael Bastasch. “The American people have a right to know what’s in President Biden’s Senate records and why the university is stonewalling our legitimate records request.”
Congress should follow our lead and immediately move to subpoena, secure, and examine the trove of secret Biden Senate records held at the University of Delaware. We will continue fighting in court to overcome the university’s desperate secrecy over its deal with Biden to keep these records away from the American people.
U.S. Gives Haiti Another $56.5 Million After Billions in Aid Disappear
While American taxpayers were watching billions of dollars flow into Ukraine with little accountability, the same has been happening in Haiti with far less attention. This desperate nation is an object lesson in showering money with little result. Our Corruption Chronicles blog elaborates.
Despite well-documented fraud and waste in the U.S. government’s costly and ineffective Haiti recovery campaign, American taxpayer dollars keep flowing to the poverty-stricken Caribbean island with no oversight. This month the Biden administration revealed it is dedicating an additional $56.5 million to the failed initiative, explaining that the money is “for the people of Haiti in response to the country’s humanitarian crisis and cholera epidemic.” The announcement says Haiti’s alarming levels of gang violence have prevented people from accessing food, fuel water and other basic supplies but fails to reveal how this latest allocation will change that.
This has been going on for many years and billions in U.S. assistance—with billions more from the international community—has made little difference. Since the 2010 earthquake Uncle Sam alone has provided Haiti with over $5.6 billion to help the nation bounce back but more than a decade later that has not materialized, and no one really knows what happened to the money. The funds were supposed to provide Haiti with “life-saving post-disaster relief as well as longer-term recovery, reconstruction, and development programs,” according to the State Department, which confirms that after the 2021 earthquake the U.S. “again mobilized a whole-of-government effort to provide immediate assistance at the Haitian government’s request.” Haiti’s reconstruction and development will continue for many years, the State Department predicts, adding that since 2021 it has doled out a whopping $278 million in humanitarian and health assistance for Haiti.
The money keeps flowing despite systemic lapses in the programs it funds. For instance, a costly initiative a to build housing failed miserably after the U.S. spent $90 million and tens of thousands of Haitians remain homeless a decade later. The Clinton Foundation and Clinton Bush Haiti Fund also came up with some $88 million for earthquake recovery but Haiti remains a disaster, the poorest country in the western hemisphere.
Even before the tremor, a federal audit revealed that hundreds of millions of American taxpayer dollars were wasted on reckless Haitian projects with the single largest chunk—$170.3 million—going to a failed port and power plant adventure heavily promoted by Bill and Hillary Clinton. The Clinton-backed power and port venture is the biggest and most expensive failure mentioned in the probe, which was ordered by a Florida congresswoman who at the time confirmed a “troubling lack of progress and accountability” in Haiti reconstruction projects. All these years later many Haitians still live in deplorable, shanty town tent cities and a never-ending epidemic of cholera keeps claiming lives.
American taxpayers have the right to ask where all that money went and why their government does not have a process in place to assure resources are properly used to actually help the Haitian people. One national news report pointed out years ago the disconnect between the massive amount of private and public aid and the poverty, disease and homelessness that still plague the country. More recently, the nation’s biggest mainstream newspaper published an article asking why Haiti still despairs after billions in foreign aid. “Since a powerful earthquake devastated the country in 2010, foreign aid seems only to have helped perpetuate some of the country’s biggest troubles,” the story reads, adding that Haiti’s institutions have become further hollowed after the international community—including the U.S., of course—pumped $13 billion of aid into the country. A researcher at a Washington D.C. think tank is quoted in the story saying that spending billions on so-called nation-building in Haiti has not worked and has contributed to the state’s erosion.
Evidently, this will not stop the government from sending more money. Even the Trump administration requested $145.5 million for aid to Haiti during its last year in office. Like many of the awards before it, the Biden administration claims that the most recent $56.5 million allocation will help “meet urgent humanitarian needs” of people across Haiti by providing food assistance, medical supplies, access to safe water and better healthcare. “The United States continues to stand with the people of Haiti during this challenging time,” the recent grant announcement says.
Until next week,