Biden denies allegations of sexual assault, announces committee to find VP
Former Vice President Joe Biden released a statement on Friday denying former staffer Tara Reade’s allegations of sexual assault. He said, “They aren’t true. This never happened.”
Reade alleges that Biden sexually assaulted her when she worked as a junior staffer in then-Senator Biden’s office in 1993.
Reade, along with several other women, accused Biden of making inappropriate and uncomfortable physical contact in April 2019. None of them, including Reade, accused him of sexual misconduct at that time. Reade alleged on March 25 of this year that Biden had sexually assaulted her.
“No, it’s not true,” said Biden on Saturday on MSNBC’s Morning Joe program. “I’m saying unequivocally: It never, never happened.”
On the program, Biden went on to say he believes women should be given the benefit of the doubt when alleging sexual assault, but that the independent press should properly vet these kinds of claims.
Additionally, Biden authorized a request for any National Archive records that would be relevant to Reade’s complaint or allegation. He did not authorize a search of his own political records stored at the University of Delaware (UD) because they “would not pertain to personnel issues.” UD stated they will not release any of the records until Biden is at least two years removed from public office.
The television appearance came after pressure had been mounting for Biden to personally deny the allegations. Previously, the only statement the Biden campaign made in regards to the allegations was a denial by Deputy Campaign Manager and Communications Chair Kate Bedingfield.
The statement touted Biden’s history on women’s issues.
“Biden authored and fought for the passage and re-authorization of the landmark Violence Against Women Act. He firmly believes that women have a right to be heard — and heard respectfully,” the statement reads.
“Such claims should also be diligently reviewed by an independent press. What is clear about this claim: it is untrue,” Bedingfield said.
Sophomore Philosophy, Politics and the Public major Matthew Dixon stated that the allegations could be a disruption for the campaign.
“(The allegations) should be taken seriously. Biden has done some pretty sketchy things around women in the past and it shouldn’t be ignored,” Dixon said. “I think if it is investigated properly, Biden will take a big hit.”
In an investigation, the New York Times spoke to Reade’s former neighbor Lynda LaCasse, an anonymous friend of Reade and Reade’s brother. They all stated that Reade described the sexual assault to them shortly after it allegedly occurred.
According to LaCasse, Reade told her about the alleged sexual assault between the years of 1995 and 1996 while smoking outside of her home in California. Several news outlets verified they were neighbors through the use of public records.
The anonymous friend stated that while they were in college, they received a phone call from Reade where she told them the details of the alleged assault. They stated that Reade called them within days of the incident and that they advised against filing a police report.
Reade’s brother told the Washington Post in an interview that Biden had behaved inappropriately, but that she did not allege sexual assault. He then told the Washington Post over text message that he recalled her saying Biden “put his hands under her clothes.”
These allegations come as Biden officially begins the vetting process for a running mate. Biden has previously promised he would choose a woman to be his vice president nominee. The Biden campaign has not said when it will announce its selection.