Ashley Biden’s Stolen Diary

The Story:

Ashley Blazer Biden was born on June 8, 1981, the daughter of then-Senator Joseph Biden and his second wife, Jill Biden. Ashley’s diary became an issue during the 2020 presidential campaign between incumbent President Donald Trump and her father, when the theft of her diary and the subsequent fate of its contents fed into broader debates about the role of the press in covering elections, and the privacy interests of the family members of public figures.


The stolen diary came into the possession of a Florida woman and Trump supporter who tried to find a buyer for it at a campaign fundraiser that July.

A conservative group called Project Veritas obtained the diary at some point. The Justice Department has investigated, or perhaps continues to investigate, whether Veritas crossed a legal line in doing so. Veritas has asserted that it was at all times acting ethically as a journalistic operation. Separately: staffers for a right-wing website got a hold on the diary, and on Oct. 24, 2020, their website posted photographs of dozens of handwritten pages from it.

The Thing to Know:

At one point during the campaign, a staffer for Project Veritas appears to have used false pretenses (including a false name) during a phone call to try to trick her into acknowledging that the diary was in fact hers. The contents of the diary were highly personal: Ms Biden had been keeping it while struggling to recover from an addiction.


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