by WorldTribune Staff, March 27, 2020
A former staffer who worked in Joe Biden’s Senate office said Biden pinned her against a wall and sexually assaulted her.
Tara Reade, who worked as a staffer in Biden’s Senate office from December 1992 to August 1993, said in an interview with liberal podcaster Katie Halper that then-Senator Biden used his fingers to penetrate her vagina when the two were alone in 1993.
Reade said that one of her superiors asked her to take a gym bag to Biden, who was somewhere near the Capitol building away from his office. When she arrived, she says Biden assaulted her.
“We were alone and it was the strangest thing,” she said. “There was no, like, exchange really. He just had me up against the wall.”
Reade described wearing a business skirt, which she says Biden reached up with his hand.
Biden’s “hands were on me and underneath my clothes,” she said. “He went down my skirt but then up inside it and he penetrated me with his fingers.”
Reade then told Halper that Biden began kissing her and then said, “ ‘Do you want to go somewhere else?’ ”
“And then him saying to me when I pulled away, he got finished doing what he was doing, and I kind of just pulled back and he said, ‘Come on, man, I heard you liked me.’ ”
Reade said the moment came as a shock. “I looked up to him,” said Reade, who was in her mid-20s when she worked for Biden’s office. Biden, now 77, would have been 50 at the time.
“He was, like, my father’s age. He was, like, this champion of women’s rights in my eyes, and I couldn’t believe it was happening. It seemed surreal.”
Reade said she did not tell her story of alleged sexual assault until this year because she faced a campaign of intimidation after accusing Biden of sexual harassment last year.
Reade told the northern California newspaper The Union in April that Biden inappropriately touched her on more than one occasion.
“He used to put his hand on my shoulder and run his finger up my neck,” Reade told the paper. “I would just kind of freeze and wait for him to stop doing that.”
The allegation came as other women shared stories of Biden making them feel uncomfortable by invading their personal space with his hands and body, or by smelling their hair.
At the time, Biden issued a statement about the accusations from the many women, but stopped short of apologizing.
“Social norms are changing. I understand that, and I’ve heard what these women are saying. Politics to me has always been about making connections, but I will be more mindful about respecting personal space in the future. That’s my responsibility and I will meet it,” the statement said.
Reade said that she reached out to Sen. Kamala Harris’s office about her accusation and never heard back.
“Something tells me if she’d been accusing Mitch McConnell, Harris and her team would have had Reade in front of cameras the very next day,” Brad Polumbo noted in a March 27 op-ed for the Washington Examiner.
During the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, Biden himself had said: “For a woman to come forward in the glaring lights of focus, nationally, you’ve got to start off with the presumption that at least the essence of what she’s talking about is real.”
According to a March 24 by The Intercept, Reade said she sought legal help from the Time’s Up organization, which was established in the wake of the #MeToo movement to help survivors tell their stories.
Among the accusers backed so far by Time’s Up are some of those assaulted by Harvey Weinstein, as well scores of others with allegations against executives in male-dominated industries. The group has committed more than $10 million toward funding cases, The Intercept report said.
Reade shad she was told that no assistance could be provided because the person she was accusing, Biden, was a candidate for federal office, and assisting a case against him could jeopardize the organization’s nonprofit status.