by WorldTribune Staff, May 1, 2020
In his first direct comments on the sexual assault accusation leveled against him, Joe Biden on Friday denied the allegation made by former Senate staffer Tara Reade.
“They aren’t true. This never happened,” Biden said of the sexual assault accusation in a written statement put out by his campaign.
Biden’s denial came months after the former vice president instructed his presidential campaign staff to review his Senate records being kept at the University of Delaware. According to an April 30 report, they visited the site and proceeded to “rifle through” the archives.
Reade went public with her claim that Biden sexually harassed her on March 25, but in the past year, Reade and several other women have accused Biden of inappropriate touching. Biden has also been caught on camera touching young girls and making them visibly uncomfortable.
Biden also called for the secretary of the Senate to ask the National 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.”
The presumptive Democratic Party presidential nominee also appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to discuss the allegation.
“No, it is not true. I’m saying unequivocally it never, never happened and it didn’t. It never happened,” Biden said on MSNBC.
The Federalist said that Biden misrepresented his past statements related to Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford.
Asked in the MSNBC interview if he regretted comments he had made during the Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation hearings, Biden said: “What I said during the Kavanaugh hearings was that she had the right to be heard. The fact that she came forward, the presumption would be that she was telling the truth unless she wasn’t telling the truth.”
That is not what Biden said just a year and a half ago, The Federalist noted.
Ford, Biden said, “should be given the benefit of the doubt,” and added, “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, whether or not she forgets the facts.” He praised Ford’s testimony in the Senate as “courageous, credible, and powerful.”
Biden insisted the National Archives, and not the University of Delaware, are the relevant entity to search for Reade’s complaint. The university, Biden said, has many of his Senate papers but does not have “personnel files.”
Business Insider reported on April 30 that Biden’s campaign had sent operatives to the University of Delaware’s library in the past year to rifle through his secretive Senate records there, raising the possibility they accessed documents related to Reade’s accusation that he sexually assaulted her when she worked for him in 1993.
The development comes as both The Atlantic and The Washington Post argued that Biden should instruct the university to turn over the records, saying they “could contain confirmation of any complaint Ms. Reade made, either through official congressional channels or to the three other employees she claims she informed not specifically of the alleged assault but more generally of harassment.”
Biden dropped off 1,875 boxes of “photographs, documents, videotapes, and files” and 415 gigabytes of electronic records to the University of Delaware in 2012. The university initially said it expected to make the records “available to the public two years after Biden’s last day in elected public office.” In April 2019, just hours before Biden announced his current presidential bid, the university changed its mind, and said the papers wouldn’t be released until either December 31, 2019, or until two years after Biden “retires from public life,” whichever comes later.
Biden campaign officials “rifled through” the documents on “at least one occasion,” Business Insider reported, citing a statement from University spokeswoman Andrea Boyle Tippett. The campaign’s visit to the library came at some point after Biden announced his presidential campaign in April 2019 — but before “mid-March” 2020, when the library closed due to the coronavirus. No one from the Biden team has visited since the closure, Tippett claimed.
Fox News reported on April 30 that numerous top officials on the board of the University of Delaware, which is refusing to release Biden’s Senate records despite an earlier promise to do so, have close personal and financial ties to the former vice president — and the chairman of the board even bought Biden’s house in 1996 for $1.2 million, reportedly a “top dollar” price given its condition.
At least seven other members of the University of Delaware’s board of trustees have donated to Biden’s political campaigns — including a former Biden senior counsel from the Senate, as well as the state’s governor and other senior officials.
Senate Democrats and major media outlets have been mostly silent on Reade’s claims, even though they called for an immediate FBI investigation into claims against Kavanaugh in 2018. Reade, however, has presented substantially more corroborating evidence than Kavanaugh’s accuser, according to the few media outlets which have reported on the allegations against Biden.