Joe Biden flatly denied a former Senate aide’s allegation of sexual assault on Friday, saying “this by no means occurred.” It was the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee’s first public touch upon the accusation by Tara Reade.
Reade mentioned on a podcast that in 1993, Biden penetrated her along with his hand whereas within the U.S. Capitol complicated, when she was a employees assistant in his Senate workplace. The allegation in late March expanded on her earlier claims that Biden had harassed her.
In a tv interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Biden was requested immediately whether or not he had sexually assaulted Reade in 1993.
“No, it isn’t true,” he mentioned. “I am saying unequivocally, it by no means, by no means occurred.”
In his first assertion in response to the allegation, Biden mentioned that whereas ladies who make accusations like this “should be handled with dignity and respect, and once they step ahead they need to be heard,” their tales “needs to be topic to applicable inquiry and scrutiny.”
Biden went on in his written assertion to query her declare, noting that she mentioned she had “raised a few of these points together with her supervisor and senior staffers,” however the two individuals recognized mentioned “unequivocally, that she by no means got here to them and complained or raised points.”
He advised MSNBC that he does not bear in mind “any kind of grievance” Reade could have made. “It was 27 years in the past,” he mentioned.
Reade, who mentioned that she doesn’t have a duplicate of her grievance, has known as on Biden to launch Senate information held on the College of Delaware. Since CBS Information inquired concerning the information in 2018, the college has declined to launch any of the information, that are sealed. The library, upon receipt of his Senate papers in 2012, mentioned, “The papers are anticipated to be accessible to the general public two years after Biden’s final day in elected public workplace.”
Biden mentioned in his assertion that the information on the college library “don’t comprise personnel information.” What he despatched to the college consists of materials documenting “speeches, coverage proposals, positions taken, and the writing of payments,” he mentioned in his assertion.
Biden additionally within the interview on Friday mentioned he’s “ready” to launch any and all doable grievance information pertaining to others, as nicely. “I’m ready to do this. To one of the best of my information there have been no complaints in opposition to me when it comes to my Senate profession, when it comes to my workplace,” Biden mentioned.
He supplied that the Nationwide Archives might need a report of the grievance, from the Workplace of Honest Employment Practices, and he mentioned he’s asking the secretary of the Senate to search for a report of the grievance and make it accessible.
“If there was ever any such grievance, the report will likely be there,” his assertion mentioned.
The Nationwide Archives, nevertheless, mentioned personnel paperwork wouldn’t be underneath the management of the archives. “Any information of Senate personnel complaints from 1993 would have remained underneath the management of the Senate. Accordingly, inquiries associated to those information needs to be directed to the Senate,” it mentioned in an announcement.
Biden’s marketing campaign has mentioned Reade’s allegation is “unfaithful” and “completely didn’t occur,” though the presumptive Democratic nominee himselfearlier than Friday.
In 2019, a number of different ladies accused Biden of inappropriate touching that was overly affectionate or too acquainted. Reade is the one particular person who has come ahead to accuse him of sexual assault. She advised CBS Information she was publicizing this newest allegation as a result of she was supplied the prospect to take action on the podcast, not due to the Democratic presidential main between Biden and Bernie Sanders, which was aggressive when Reade made this accusation. Reade publicly supported Sanders.
Her authentic accusations in opposition to Biden didn’t embrace sexual assault. A 12 months in the past, in April 2019, she advised the California newspaper The Union that “he used to place his hand on my shoulder and run his finger up my neck. I’d simply form of freeze and look ahead to him to cease doing that.” She additionally claimed that her obligations in his Senate workplace had been decreased after she refused to serve drinks at an occasion. Reade mentioned Biden had made the request of her as a result of he appreciated her legs.
Some new corroboration has emerged during the last week that Reade first alleged the assault within the 1990s. This week, a former neighbor of Reade’s within the ’90s, Lynda LaCasse, advised CBS Information she remembers Reade telling her round 1995 or 1996 about an assault by Biden, a element first reported by Enterprise Insider.
Reade’s brother, Collin Moulton, additionally advised CBS Information he remembers Reade saying Biden put his hand “underneath her garments,” however his account has advanced since he spoke to ABC Information in March, when he mentioned he was conscious of office harassment. He additionally mentioned in an interview with The Washington Put up that in 1993, Reade had advised him that Biden had inappropriately touched her neck and shoulders. A number of days later, he texted the Put up to say that he recalled Reade had advised him Biden had put his hand “‘underneath her clothes.'”
Others have mentioned Reade solely spoke positively about her earlier work in Biden’s workplace. Lynn Hummer, who operates a California horse rescue the place Reade volunteered for just a few years, advised CBS Information Reade wore her expertise in Biden’s workplace like a “feather in her cap.” Hummer additionally questioned Reade’s truthfulness.
The New York Instances interviewed Reade’s former colleagues. They mentioned they didn’t bear in mind any complaints from Reade concerning the form of habits by Biden that she describes now.
Considered one of Reade’s former colleagues, Marianne Baker, Biden’s former govt assistant within the 1990s, supplied an announcement to CBS Information by way of the Biden marketing campaign expressing doubt about Reade’s allegations. She mentioned, “I by no means as soon as witnessed, or heard of, or obtained, any experiences of inappropriate conduct, interval — not from Ms. Reade, not from anybody.”
Sarah Barth, Michael Kaplan and Caitlin Huey-Burns contributed to this report.