(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced that it filed a reply brief on behalf of the Daily Caller News Foundation and itself in the Supreme Court of Delaware asking for limited discovery, including, at a minimum, deposing a university representative.
In July 2020 Judicial Watch and the Daily Caller News Foundation filed a Delaware Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit after the university denied their 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 Judicial Watch and the Daily Caller News Foundation 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 its Delaware Supreme Court filing, Judicial Watch and the Daily Caller News Foundation argue:
Despite FOIA’s acknowledgement 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 miniscule 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 January26, 2023, letter to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Delaware attorney Ted A. Kittila (who also serves as Judicial Watch’s 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 Judicial Watch’s lead and immediately move to subpoena, secure and examine the trove of secret Biden Senate records being held in the University of Delaware,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Judicial Watch, in the meantime, 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.”