Biden, the presumably Democratic nominee, has denied Reade's claim, and has asked the Senate to locate and publish the complaint, if any.
"As far as I understand, there have been no complaints against me in any Senate career," Biden said in an interview with MSNBC. "This is an open book. There is nothing to hide."
Read's claim has raised a number of questions about whether the complaint exists – and whether it does, where it can be and who can access it. Here's what we know about the alleged complaint:
What Reade has said about the complaint
Reade has told CNN that she filed a complaint with a staff office on Capitol Hill in 1993 while working in Biden's Senate office on interactions with Biden that allegedly made her feel uncomfortable. She said the complaint dealt only with the alleged sexual harassment, and not the alleged sexual assault.
Reade said she did not have a copy of the said complaint, and that she was also not sure what the name of the office where she filed it was.
In addition, Reade said she orally complained to three counselors at the time about the alleged sexual harassment. All three have told CNN and other media that they never received such an oral complaint from Reade, and that they were never aware of any sexual harassment complaints from anyone against Biden in the years they worked with him.
What one of Tara Reade's friends said about the complaint
Reade has told CNN that the people she told about the alleged assault at that time included a close friend. CNN interviewed her friend, who asked to remain anonymous to protect her privacy.
According to her friend, Reade told her on several occasions while working at the Bid Senate office about physical interactions with the then senator who had made her feel uncomfortable. She said she urged Reade to address the issue with her bosses. Reade said she did several times, but "nothing changed" according to her friend.
The friend said she urged Reade to file a complaint at a Capitol Hill staff office, and that she agreed to be listed as a contact on the complaint form. The friend said that after Reade filled out the report, Reade told her she had filled out the form "on paper, on a clipboard." The friend said she never heard from anyone at a Reade staff office.
Filing a complaint on Capitol Hill in 1993
The office that dealt with complaints of the kind Reade would have filed in 1993 on Capitol Hill was the Office of Senate Fair Employment Practices. The house had a similar office, known as the Office of Fair Employment Practices. Both offices were created in the Civil Rights Act of 1991.
If an alleged violation was filed with the Senate office, a procedure would have started as a hearing by a "board of independent hearing officers." The law also allows for review of all alleged violations of the Senate's selected ethics committee, according to the statute.
University of Delaware records remain under seal
Since Reade came forward with his attack allegation, there have been calls for records from Biden's time in the Senate to be released to the University of Delaware for the public.
But Biden said during an MSNBC interview that the records at the University of Delaware from his time in the Senate are his personal records and do not contain personnel files.
"They contain no personnel files, there are public records, my numbers, my papers, my position papers, and if that document existed, it would be stored in the National Archives where documents from the office she claims to have filed her complaint with are stored," Biden said during the interview.
When asked why Biden would not release the posts given to the university now, he said the records include "speeches I have held, positions I have taken, interviews I did" and whether they became public during his presidential election, "they can really get out of context. "
The collection is still curated by the school librarians. Documents and media in the collection are still being filed, and that process is likely to continue into 2021, according to University of Delaware spokeswoman Andrea Boyle. Regardless of when the collection is complete, the records will remain closed to the public for up to two years after Biden withdraws from public life, she said.
The only person who could allow anyone at the school to release documents to anyone else would be through "explicit consent" from Biden, the university said in a statement.
No one on behalf of Biden or his campaign has been visiting the university collection since November 2019, according to the university. When someone from Biden staff visited the collection, they were accompanied by members of the library's special collections department, Boyle said. No documents were added or removed during any of these visits, she added.
Stored in National Archives, under & # 39; control & # 39; of the Senate
During his interview on MSNBC, Biden said that all personnel records from his Senate office would be stored in the National Archives.
The National Archives said in a statement to CNN after Biden's on-camera interview sent out that "1993 personnel complaints" are "under the control of the Senate."
The archives said that any further requests to find Reade's alleged complaint should be addressed to the Senate.
Biden asks the Senate secretary to release all documents related to Reade
Biden on Friday sent a letter to the secretary in the Senate asking the office to "direct what is needed" to find and publish any complaint from Reade.
The Senate secretary responded to Biden in a public statement, saying the office had "no discretion to disclose" these records because it is prohibited by federal law.
Biden's personal lawyer, Bob Bauer, responded to the secretary in the Senate by asking a series of questions about the documents.
Bauer asked if the secretary in the Senate could reveal even the existence of such a complaint. He also asked if anyone, like the person who made the complaint, is legally allowed to see copies of these records. Bauer also asked if the Senate could release "procedures and related material" including "any standard forms or instructions" that the Office of Senate Fair Employment Practices would have used in 1993.
The secretary's office responded by saying that omitting the records of someone would be a "prohibited disclosure" under the law and that it is forbidden to disclose the existence of complaints.
The office also provided Bauer with a document detailing the procedures of the Office of Senate Fair Employment Practices in 1993.