In a Friday interview on MSNBC, Mr. Biden resisted these calls, insisting that his Senate papers do not contain any personnel files and so could not possibly shed light on Ms. Reade’s allegations. He added that they do, however, contain sensitive information about his past work that could be unfairly exploited in a presidential campaign.
While understandable, this concern is not prohibitive — and Mr. Biden’s word is insufficient to dispel the cloud. Any inventory should be strictly limited to information about Ms. Reade and conducted by an unbiased, apolitical panel, put together by the D.N.C. and chosen to foster as much trust in its findings as possible. Admittedly, this would be a major undertaking. Mr. Biden served 36 years in the Senate. He turned over nearly 2,000 boxes and more than 400 gigabytes of data to the University of Delaware; most of it has not been cataloged. But the question at hand is no less than Mr. Biden’s fitness for the presidency. No relevant memo should be left unexamined.