Roberta Kaplan, lawyer for Ms Biden, declined to comment.
The episode has its roots in the spring of 2020, as Ms Biden’s father drew closer to the Democratic presidential nomination. Ms Biden, who has kept a low profile throughout her father’s vice presidency and presidency, had quit a job the year before working for a criminal justice group in Delaware.
She was living in Delray Beach, Florida, a small town between Miami and West Palm Beach, with a friend who had rented a two-bedroom palm-fringed house with a large pool and a wraparound walkway, according to people familiar with the events. Ms Biden, who had little public role in her father’s campaign, had previously been to rehab in Florida in 2019, and the friend’s house was a haven where she could avoid the media and the glare of the countryside.
But in June, as the campaign intensified, she traveled to the Philadelphia area, planning to return to Delray in the fall before the lease expired in November. She decided to leave some of her personal belongings, including a gym bag and another bag, people familiar with the events said.
Weeks after Ms Biden headed northeast, the friend who had accommodated Ms Biden in the house allowed an ex-girlfriend named Aimee Harris and her two children to move in. Ms Harris was in a contentious custody dispute and was struggling. financially, according to Palm Beach County court records. At one point in February 2020, she had been evicted while living in a rental property in nearby Jupiter.
Shortly after moving into the Delray House, Ms Harris – whose social media posts and conversations with friends suggested she was a fan of Mr Trump – learned that Ms Biden had stayed there previously and that some of his belongings were still there, according to two people familiar with the matter.
September 2020: Project Veritas obtains the journal
What exactly happened next remains the subject of federal investigation. But in September, the newspaper was acquired from Ms Harris and a friend by Project Veritas, whose operations against liberal groups and mainstream news outlets had helped make it a favorite of Mr Trump.
In a court filing, Project Veritas told a federal judge that around September 3, 2020, someone the group described as “an informant” called Project Veritas and left a voicemail message. The caller said “a new occupant moved into a place where Ashley Biden had previously stayed and found Ms Biden’s diary and other personal items.”