FIRST ON FOX: The office of then-Vice President Biden expressed concerns in 2010 about the University of Delaware’s terms for the "deed of gift" for his Senate papers "due to the political sensitivities" that could arise from releasing the papers to the public, according to an email reviewed and verified by Fox News Digital.

In March 2010, Katherine Oyama, who was serving as Biden’s associate counsel and later deputy counsel, emailed Hunter Biden’s longtime business partner, Eric Schwerin, about transmitting Biden's Senate papers, telling him that Biden’s counsel Cynthia Hogan asked her to forward him some flags to be reviewed.

"As you can see, the terms contained in the current draft are very favorable to the University," Oyama wrote. "Cynthia [Hogan] also asked me to note that due to the political sensitivities associated with any public release of the Vice President’s Senate papers, both the Office of the Vice President and the White House will have strong views on some of these items, especially those related to the timing and scope of any public release."

The email went on to list some sections that needed to be reviewed, including "Property ownership," "Timing of archival processing and public release," "Opportunity for review prior to release," and "Scope."


Email from VP Biden's counsel to Eric Schwerin on Senate papers

A member of then-Vice President Biden's counsel's office sent Hunter Biden's longtime business partner, Eric Schwerin, an email about some of the concerns they had regarding the agreement between the University of Delaware and Biden regarding his donation of Senate papers to the university's library. (Fox News Digital)

Some additional provisions that were proposed included a "requirement that archival staff sign non-disclosure agreements during the processing period" and a "fixed period of time during which certain of the Senate papers remain sealed." Another proposal was an "indemnification agreement related to claims arising from public release of the materials."

Schwerin sent the email to Hunter Biden less than an hour later as an "FYI" if he wanted to "be in the loop" and said that he sent the email to "Mel," which refers to Melvyn Monzack, a longtime confidante to the elder Biden and a personal attorney. Schwerin said that Monzack and Biden were going to discuss the terms of the Senate papers and determine who would take the lead between Monzack and "Jamie," which appears to be referring to attorney Jamie Gorelick, who served as a deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration and donated over $50,000 to the Biden campaign and Biden Action Fund in 2019 and 2020.

Eric Schwerin email to Hunter Biden

Hunter Biden's longtime business partner, Eric Schwerin, sent him an email in March 2010 informing of the discussion regarding the agreement between then-Vice President Biden and the University of Delaware on his Senate papers. (Fox News Digital)

Fox News Digital reached out to Monzack, Gorelick, Hunter's attorney, Schwerin, and Hogan about their involvement with the contractual terms for the Senate papers, but they did not respond to requests for comment. Monzack would later send Hunter Biden another draft of the agreement later in 2010, but it is unclear what changes were made.

Biden appeared to echo his former counsel's office a decade later in 2020 when he was pressed on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" about releasing his Senate papers amid speculation that the papers could contain information regarding allegations from Biden's former Senate staffer Tara Reade that he sexually assaulted her when she worked in his Washington, D.C. office in 1993.

Biden denied the allegations and said that the Senate personnel files wouldn't be in his papers. He would go on defending his decision not to release the Senate papers by saying, "There’s a lot of things that of speeches I’ve made, positions I’ve taken, interviews that I did overseas with people, all of those things relating to my job. And the idea that they would be made public and the fact while I was running for public office, they could be really taken out of context." 

"The papers are position papers, they are documents that existed and that for example when I go, when I met with Putin or when I met with whomever," he added. "And all of that to be fodder in a campaign at this time."

When Biden announced he'd gift the Senate papers to the university, its then-president Patrick Harker called the documents a "true abundance of materials that will illuminate decades of U.S police and diplomacy and the vice president's critical role in its development."

"I can't imagine a collection that would shed more light on this nation's recent past and the dynamic processes of our democracy," Harker added during 2011 remarks.

President Biden speaks at the University of Delaware commencement ceremony

President Biden delivers his keynote address to the University of Delaware Class of 2022 during its commencement ceremony in Newark, Del., Saturday, May 28, 2022. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Biden also spoke highly of his papers at the time, hoping they'd lead to a "deeper understanding of how true and honest compromise can advance the great national goals, and how resolving our differences we reshape the society we live in, and we shape it for the better."

The university's then-director of libraries, Susan Brynteson, who retired in 2015, did an interview in 2011 on the papers' importance and explained their release process, including a non-disclosure agreement and a waiting period of two years until Biden left public office.

"We expect to receive over 2,500 cartons, about 450 gigabytes of electronic information," Brynteson said in 2011. "When the papers arrive, it will take at least two years to process them. This will not be immediately available because, according to the agreement with the vice president, they will not be available until two years after he has left public office."

"The papers are now in storage in the National Archives, and they have to be gone through there, and then they'll be transported here," she added. "Then we will begin the process, which we expect to take two years. Then we'll wait for the time for them to be made available to users. We have a non-disclosure agreement that the library staff can process the papers, but they will not be made available to researchers or students. We'll begin processing them the day they arrive."

In another clip of the interview, Brynteson said Biden has "been involved with legislation for many, many years and has had excellent relationships with his colleagues, so we expect it to be a marvelous addition to the material that is available for research of the latter part of the 20th century."

2018 photo with Joe Biden and University of Delaware officials

President Biden is an alum of the University of Delaware, graduating in the class of 1965. He is pictured with John Cochran (Left), a University of Delaware board of trustees member, and the University of Delaware's president Dennis Assannis (Right) in this 2018 photo. (Kathy F. Atkinson / University of Delaware)

Fox News Digital reached out to the University of Delaware regarding the Senate papers and whether they believe this agreement with Biden, which is shielding a majority of his political career from the public, is in the best interest of its students and researchers. Peter Bothum, a spokesperson for the University of Delaware, defended their decision not to release the Senate papers.

"President Biden donated his Senatorial papers to the University of Delaware pursuant to an agreement that prohibits the University from providing public access to those papers until they have been properly processed and archived," Bothum said. "The University is bound by, and will comply with, the agreement. Until the archival process is complete and the collection is opened to the public, access is only available with President Biden’s express consent."


"The process is not complete," Bothum added in a follow-up email in response to Fox News Digital's second inquiry.

The initial agreement was changed from two years after Biden left elected office to two years after he retires from public life after he announced his 2020 presidential run, Delaware Online reported. 

The White House did not respond to a request for comment on the email and Biden's decision to keep the papers sealed.