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- October 20, 2020
New pictures have emerged of the former Joe Biden staffer who claims he sexually assaulted her in 1993, showing her as a young actress dressed in a flapper costume.
In March, Tara Reade came forward to allege that the former Vice President had sexually assaulted her when she worked for him two decades ago aged 29. Biden finally broke his silence about the allegation to deny it on Friday.
And on Sunday Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez dismissed calls for an independent investigation into the accusations leveled at .
Likening Tara Reade‘s claims to ‘the Hillary emails‘, because ‘there was nothing there‘, Perez told This Week: ‘The most comprehensive investigation of the vice president was when he was vetted by in 2008.‘
Some Democrats have expressed concern the accusations will be used against Biden, much as Republicans spoke in 2016 on Clinton’s private email server.
Reade has admitted she is ‘not sure‘ of the words she used in her complaint against Biden. She told Saturday: ‘I filed a complaint re sexual harassment and retaliation but I am not sure what explicit words on that intake form until we all see it again.‘
The new images of Reade show her as a young dancer after she sent them to producer Oliver Stone in December last year.
She tweeted him and former leader of the UK Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn to say: ‘Happy 2020! Thank you Oliver Stone for all your creative and educational international films.
‘In the below pics I played a flapper dancing to that song “Ain‘t we got fun” and the lyrics ring oh so true today. I hope the anti Russian propaganda will end this decade & peace wins.‘
Defending Biden Sunday, Perez said: ‘I‘m very familiar with vice presidential vetting process. They look at everything about you.
‘They looked at the entire history of Joe Biden, his entire career, and I will tell you, if Barack Obama had any indication that there was an issue, Barack Obama would not have had him as his vice president.‘
‘I‘m saying unequivocally, it never, never happened,‘ the former vice president and senator said in an interview on MSNBC‘s Morning Joe.
On Friday another woman, Eva Murry, 26, accused Biden of making a lewd comment to her when she was just 14-years-old.
But the organizer for Delaware‘s annual Gridiron Dinner, where the alleged incident is said to have taken place, said Biden was not at the event in 2008, reports.
“They looked at the entire history of Joe Biden … Barack Obama trusted Joe Biden, I trust Joe Biden,” DNC Chairman Tom Perez tells when asked why the DNC won’t convene an independent panel.
Joe Biden denied the sexual assault allegation.
— This Week ()
Governor of Michigan Gretchen Whitmer also added her support to Biden Sunday, arguing not ‘every claim is equal‘. She said: ‘We need to give people an opportunity to tell their story. But then we have a duty to vet it. And just because you‘re a survivor doesn‘t mean that every claim is equal.‘
She told CNN Sunday: ‘I have read a lot about this current allegation. I know Joe Biden, and I have watched his defense. And there‘s not a pattern that goes into this.
‘And I think that, for these reasons, I‘m very comfortable that Joe Biden is who he says he is…. And I will tell you this. I don‘t believe that it‘s consistent with the Joe Biden that I know. And I do believe Joe, and I support Joe Biden.‘
But critics in both parties are saying that Democrats and the media have brushed off the standard of ‘believe all women‘ that they set in the hearings on sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said: ‘It has been appalling the hypocrisy as to how Brett Kavanaugh was treated versus Joe Biden.
‘Brett Kavanaugh — every accuser was put on TV, it was wall-to-wall coverage, they went into his high school yearbook, they said they needed an FBI investigation.‘
‘It went from ‘me too,‘ ‘me too,‘ ‘me too,‘ to ‘move on,‘ ‘move on,‘ ‘move on‘ in a nanosecond because he‘s a Democrat and hypocrisy is appalling.‘
And Reade has slammed Democrats for ‘hypocrisy‘ as she revealed the intense online abuse she has received since making the accusation.
She hit out in an interview with on Saturday night as she said that ‘creepy‘ voice messages were being left for her as part of a torrent of abuse following her claim against the presumed Democratic presidential candidate.
‘I find it astounding – the hypocrisy that Democrats are talking about women being able to tell their story safely,‘ Reade told Fox.
‘I‘m a Democrat, a lifelong Democrat, but yet here I am trying to talk about my history with Joe Biden and I‘m just the target of online harassment.‘
She also said the treatment of Anita Hill acted as a deterrent in her coming forward with her allegations.
Hill accused then-Supreme Court-nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment when Biden led the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Reade told Fox News: ‘I really believed Anita Hill and I thought she was treated badly. I think a lot of women felt the same way. They were watching that, that were professionals, you know, I was a young professional at the time.‘
‘And I didn‘t like the way Joe Biden dealt with her, but I also didn‘t like how she was dealt with in general, right? And what it did was that it made us more silent.
‘What it did was show us was, ‘Okay when you try to go up against this, this is basically what you‘re gonna face. So it was an example of… a deterrent.‘
Reade spoke about the shocking extent of the abuse as two further people were identified who corroborated her story about the sexual assault.
One friend, who knew Reade in 1993, said Reade told them about the alleged assault when it happened, The Associated Press reported Saturday.
The second friend met Reade more than a decade after the alleged incident and confirmed that Reade had a conversation with the friend in 2007 or 2008 about experiencing sexual harassment from Biden while working in his Senate office.
Both spoke on condition of anonymity to protect their families‘ privacy.
There are now at least four people who have corroborated Reade‘s allegations.
The two who previously came forward included Lynda LaCasse, a former neighbor, who said Reade told her about the alleged assault a few years after Reade said it happened in the mid-1990s.
The other was a former coworker Lorraine Sanchez who said Reade told her she had been sexually harassed by her boss during her previous job in Washington.
Reade‘s interview with Fox also followed her criticism of an Associated Press report covering her accusations earlier on Saturday, which she claims misrepresented her in its headline.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Reade has restated a previous claim that she not explicitly accused Joe Biden of sexual assault or harassment when she filed a limited report with a congressional personnel office in 1993.
Yet speaking to , Reade said, ‘I do not know what is on the form until we see it. I filed a sexual harassment complaint and included retaliation‘.
On Saturday, Reade slammed the AP report as ‘false‘ for saying in its headline that she had not directly accused Joe Biden of sexual assault even though the story included a direct quote from her stating such.
It also included 2019 quotes in which she said she had ‘chickened out‘ and not detailed the sexual harassment in the report at the time because she was scared.
Reade later told Fox that she had filed a sexual harassment complaint even if she hadn‘t used those exact words.
‘They‘re standing by the fact… that I said I don‘t think I used the term ‘sexual harassment.‘ We didn‘t use it as much back in 1993, so I don‘t know but that‘s not to say that there isn‘t a box that I didn‘t check. Until we get that form, we don‘t know,‘ Reade explained.
According to an interview with Reade published by the AP on Saturday, the former Biden staffer said she filed a limited report with a congressional personnel office that did not explicitly accuse him of sexual assault or harassment.
Shortly after the interview was published, however, Reade shared the story tweeting ‘this is false‘, despite the article including a direct quote from her stating ‘I know I didn‘t use sexual harassment‘ in the report.
She later attempted to clarify her meaning by tweeting that ‘the headline was quite misleading‘ in saying she had not mentioned sexual harassment specifically but she doesn‘t know if there was a box she ticked about it until she sees the report.
‘I filed the intake form regarding sexual harassment and retaliation however that was articulated on form in 1993. I filed with Senate Personnel. Perhaps Joe Biden knows where that form is located. Ask him,‘ she added.
Reade later told the ‘story itself is correct‘ but the headline, which read ‘Tara Reade says a Senate report she filed against Joe Biden didn‘t refer to sexual harassment or assault‘, was wrong.
In multiple interviews with the AP on Friday, Reade insisted she filed an ‘intake form‘ at the Senate personnel office, which included her information, the office she worked for and some broad details of her issues with Biden.
On Saturday, Reade told the AP there may have been a box to check on the form noting a sexual harassment complaint, but she couldn‘t remember and wouldn‘t know for sure until she saw the form.
Reade filed an official criminal complaint against the now presumptive Democratic presidential nominee on April 9 of this year, accusing Biden of shoving his hand under her skirt and penetrating her with his fingers while they stood in a senate corridor, an accusation he has denied.
She says she was fired from Biden‘s office after filing a complaint with the Senate alleging harassment.
The former staffer made the complaint about the alleged assault last month after going public with her story in March but the statue of limitations had passed.
Reade was among the women who came out last year alleging Biden was too handsy but did not make her allegation of sexual assault until speaking with journalist Katie Halper for her ‘Katie Halper Show‘ podcast on March 25.
She says she was reluctant to share details of the assault during her initial conversations with reporters over a year ago because she was scared of backlash, and was still coming to terms with what happened to her.
According to the Associated Press, Reade filed a report after the alleged assault but it did not mention sexual assault or harassment specifically.
‘I remember talking about him wanting me to serve drinks because he liked my legs and thought I was pretty and it made me uncomfortable,‘ Reade said.
‘I know that I was too scared to write about the sexual assault.‘
Reade said she described her issues with Biden but ‘the main word I used – and I know I didn‘t use sexual harassment – I used ‘uncomfortable‘. And I remember ‘retaliation‘.‘
The AP reported that it had discovered additional transcripts and notes from its interviews with Reade last year in which she says she ‘chickened out‘ after going to the Senate personnel office. They interviewed Reade in 2019 after she accused Biden of uncomfortable and inappropriate touching.
The existence of the Senate report has become a key element of the accusations against Biden, which he has flatly denied.
Reade says she doesn‘t have a copy of the report, and Biden said Friday that he is not aware that any complaint against him exists. He asked the Senate and the National Archives to search their records to try to locate a complaint from Reade.
But Reade is suggesting that even if the report surfaces, it would not corroborate her assault allegations because she chose not to detail them at the time.
According to a transcript of her 2019 interview with the AP, Reade said: ‘They have this counseling office or something, and I think I walked in there once, but then I chickened out.‘
She made a similar statement in a second interview with AP that same day, according to written notes from the interview.
On Friday, Reade said she was referring to having ‘chickened out‘ by not filing full harassment or assault allegations against Biden.
Reade was one of eight women who came forward last year with allegations that Biden made them feel uncomfortable with inappropriate displays of affection.
During one of the April 2019 interviews with the AP, she said Biden rubbed her shoulders and neck and played with her hair. She said she was asked by an aide in Biden‘s Senate office to dress more conservatively and told ‘don‘t be so sexy.‘
She said of Biden: ‘I wasn‘t scared of him, that he was going to take me in a room or anything. It wasn‘t that kind of vibe.‘
Biden acknowledged the complaints and promised to be ‘more mindful about respecting personal space in the future‘.
Reade‘s recent accusation has roiled Biden‘s presidential campaign, however, sparking anxiety among Democrats.
Republicans have accused Biden backers of hypocrisy, arguing that they have been quick to believe women who have accused President Donald Trump and other conservatives of assault.
Trump has faced multiple accusations of assault and harassment, all of which he denies.
April was Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Every year, at this time, we talk about awareness, prevention, and the importance of women feeling they can step forward, say something, and be heard. That belief – that women should be heard – was the underpinning of a law I wrote over 25 years ago. To this day, I am most proud of the Violence Against Women Act. So, each April we are reminded not only of how far we have come in dealing with sexual assault in this country – but how far we still have to go.
When I wrote the bill, few wanted to talk about the issue. It was considered a private matter, a personal matter, a family matter. I didn’t see it that way. To me, freedom from fear, harm, and violence for women was a legal right, a civil right, and a human right. And I knew we had to change not only the law, but the culture.
So, we held hours of hearings and heard from the most incredibly brave women – and we opened the eyes of the Senate and the nation – and passed the law.
In the years that followed, I fought to continually strengthen the law. So, when we took office and President Obama asked me what I wanted, I told him I wanted oversight of the critical appointments in the Office on Violence Against Women at the Department of Justice and I wanted a senior White House Advisor appointing directly to me on the issue. Both of those things happened.
As Vice President, we started the “It’s on Us” campaign on college campuses to send the message loud and clear that dating violence is violence – and against the law.
We had to get men involved. They had to be part of the solution. That’s why I made a point of telling young men this was their problem too – they couldn’t turn a blind eye to what was happening around them – they had a responsibility to speak out. Silence is complicity.
In the 26 years since the law passed, the culture and perceptions have changed but we’re not done yet.
It’s on us, and it’s on me as someone who wants to lead this country. I recognize my responsibility to be a voice, an advocate, and a leader for the change in culture that has begun but is nowhere near finished. So I want to address allegations by a former staffer that I engaged in misconduct 27 years ago.
They aren’t true. This never happened.
While the details of these allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault are complicated, two things are not complicated. One is that women deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and when they step forward they should be heard, not silenced. The second is that their stories should be subject to appropriate inquiry and scrutiny.
Responsible news organizations should examine and evaluate the full and growing record of inconsistencies in her story, which has changed repeatedly in both small and big ways.
But this much bears emphasizing.
She has said she raised some of these issues with her supervisor and senior staffers from my office at the time. They – both men and a woman – have said, unequivocally, that she never came to them and complained or raised issues. News organizations that have talked with literally dozens of former staffers have not found one – not one – who corroborated her allegations in any way. Indeed, many of them spoke to the culture of an office that would not have tolerated harassment in any way – as indeed I would not have.
There is a clear, critical part of this story that can be verified. The former staffer has said she filed a complaint back in 1993. But she does not have a record of this alleged complaint. The papers from my Senate years that I donated to the University of Delaware do not contain personnel files. It is the practice of Senators to establish a library of personal papers that document their public record: speeches, policy proposals, positions taken, and the writing of bills.
There is only one place a complaint of this kind could be – the National Archives. The National Archives is where the records are kept at what was then called the Office of Fair Employment Practices. I am requesting that the Secretary of the Senate ask the Archives to identify any record of the complaint she alleges she filed and make available to the press any such document. If there was ever any such complaint, the record will be there.
As a Presidential candidate, I’m accountable to the American people. We have lived long enough with a President who doesn’t think he is accountable to anyone, and takes responsibility for nothing. That’s not me. I believe being accountable means having the difficult conversations, even when they are uncomfortable. People need to hear the truth.
I have spent my career learning from women the ways in which we as individuals and as policy makers need to step up to make their hard jobs easier, with equal pay, equal opportunity, and workplaces and homes free from violence and harassment. I know how critical women’s health issues and basic women’s rights are. That has been a constant through my career, and as President, that work will continue. And I will continue to learn from women, to listen to women, to support women, and yes, to make sure women’s voices are heard.
We have a lot of work to do. From confronting online harassment, abuse, and stalking, to ending the rape kit backlog, to addressing the deadly combination of guns and domestic violence.
We need to protect and empower the most marginalized communities, including immigrant and indigenous women, trans women, and women of color.
We need to make putting an end to gender-based violence in both the United States and around the world a top priority.
I started my work over 25 years ago with the passage of the Violence Against Women Act. As president, I’m committed to finishing the job.