The New York Times and other media outlets published investigations into former Senate aide Tara Reade’s sexual assault allegations against former Vice President Joe Biden over the weekend after weeks of criticism that they were ignoring the story.
Reade, who briefly worked for Biden’s Senate office in the 1990s, first came forward with seven other women last year to accuse Biden of kissing and touching them without their consent. Reade told The Times last year that Biden “publicly stroked her neck, wrapped his fingers in her hair and touched her in ways that made her uncomfortable.”
Reade did not mention the sexual assault allegation at the time but said in a podcast interview earlier this year that Biden pinned her to a wall, reached under her clothes, and penetrated her with his fingers in 1993.
“It happened at once. He’s talking to me and his hands are everywhere and everything is happening very quickly,” she told the Times. “He was kissing me and he said, very low, ‘Do you want to go somewhere else?’”
When she pulled away, she said Biden “looked at me kind of almost puzzled or shocked” and said, “come on man, I heard you liked me.”
Reade made the same allegation to the Times and other national outlets. A friend told the Times that Reade told her about the details of the alleged incident at the time. Reade’s brother and another friend told the outlet that she “told them over the years about a traumatic sexual incident involving Mr. Biden.”
Reade, a supporter of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren who made questionable comments about Russia in the past, filed a police report last week, though it does not mention Biden by name. She said she filed a complaint about Biden in 1993 but the document has not been located.
She denied that the allegation had anything to do with hurting Biden’s campaign.
Biden campaign denies:
A spokeswoman for Biden denied the allegation and several people who worked with Reade told the Times she never discussed the incident or similar behavior by Biden. The Times did not find any other sexual assault allegations against Biden.
“Vice President Biden has dedicated his public life to changing the culture and the laws around violence against women,” deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield told the Times. “He authored and fought for the passage and reauthorization of the landmark Violence Against Women Act. He firmly believes that women have a right to be heard — and heard respectfully. Such claims should also be diligently reviewed by an independent press. What is clear about this claim: It is untrue. This absolutely did not happen.”
Numerous members of the office staff that Reade said she told about the incident at the time denied ever hearing about it.
Reade claims she was demoted:
Reade worked as a staff assistant in Biden’s office and managed the office interns. Reade worked for Biden from December 1992 until August 1993.
“The staff declined to take action, Ms. Reade said, after which she filed a written complaint with a Senate personnel office,” the Times reported. “She said office staff took away most of her duties, including supervising the interns; assigned her a windowless office; and made the work environment uncomfortable for her.”
She said she was later given a month to look for another job because she wasn’t a “good fit.”