Has a "tractor trailer worth" of classified documents from President Joe Biden been found at the University of Delaware? No, there's no evidence that's true: Although the school has a vast collection of Biden's papers from his 36 years in the Senate, a lawyer who represents organizations that have sued the University of Delaware for access to the collection told Lead Stories on February 2, 2023, that he does not know if the collection contains classified documents or not.
The University of Delaware has not provided access. A second lawyer, whose organization wants the special counsel investigating Biden's handling of classified files to review the collection, commented that most of the documents "clearly" are not classified.
The claim appeared in a Facebook post on January 30, 2023. It read:
More classified documents found at University of Delaware, told to be the equivalent of a tractor trailer worth..
This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:
(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tues Jan 31 05:47:22 2023 UTC)
Lead Stories contacted the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), a nonprofit ethics watchdog, to ask about the claim. The NLPC has called for the special counsel charged with investigating Biden's handling of classified documents to search the president's records at the University of Delaware. The university houses papers from Biden's 1973-2009 terms as a U.S. senator.
In a February 2, 2023, email to Lead Stories, NLPC counsel Paul Kamenar wrote:
As for classified docs, we're calling upon the Special Counsel to search those boxes since the FBI found at least one Senate doc at his home in Delaware; hence, there may be many more stored at the Univ. of Delaware. Clearly, most stored there from his Senate days are not classified docs.
An online statement from the University of Delaware about Biden's senatorial collection specifies that the collection "will remain closed pending completion of processing." Public access will be allowed "no sooner than" two years after Biden retires from public life.
When it received the papers in 2012, the University of Delaware released photos showing tractor trailer trucks transporting boxes of documents, as can be seen here and below:
(Source: University of Delaware Library/Flickr. June 5, 2012)
In a February 2, 2023, email to Lead Stories, Kittila wrote about the collection:
Yes it is true that there are two tractor trailer loads of documents: 1,850 boxes and 415 gigs of electronic data. We do not know if any of this is classified since they have not allowed access.
In other words, although lawyers seeking access to the records assert that there may be classified materials in Biden's papers at the University of Delaware, no evidence exists that any have been found -- much less a "tractor trailer worth" of classified documents.
Lead Stories contacted the University of Delaware to ask about the claim. We will update this story, as appropriate, if we receive a response.