By Lauren Victoria Burke
NNPA Newswire Contributor
Former Vice President Joseph Biden denied an allegation of sexual assault by a former Senate aide, Tara Reade, breaking a month of silence on the accusation..
Biden was vetted before being selected as President Obama’s vice president in 2008, a role he served in for eight years. Biden served in the Senate for 36 years before serving in the executive branch. The first time Reade’s allegation became public was March of 2020. However, Reade has four people corroborating that she told them of the alleged assault in the 1990s.
This video framegrab image from MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” shows Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaking to co-host Mika Brzezinski, May 1, 2020. (MSNBC’s Morning Joe via AP)
MSNBC anchor Mika Brzezinski asked Biden to unseal his Senate records at the University of Delaware and asked, “Are you certain there was nothing about Tara Reade in those records? Are you preparing us for a complaint that might be revealed in some way? Are you confident there is nothing?”
“I’m confident there’s nothing. No one ever brought it to the attention of me 27 years ago. This is — any assertion at all. No one that I’m aware of in my campaign, actually my Senate office at the time, is aware of any such request or any such complaint, and so I’m not worried about it at all. If there is a complaint, that’s where it would be. That’s where it would be filed, and if it’s there, put it out. But I’ve never seen it. No one has that I’m aware of,” Biden answered.
Biden is the presumptive Democratic nominee and has committed to selecting a woman as his vice presidential nominee.
In this April 4, 2019, photo Tara Reade poses for a photo during an interview with The Associated Press in Nevada City, Calif. (AP Photo/Donald Thompson)
Women’s groups have remained silent on the Tara Reade allegations even though they were very vocal in late 2018 during the confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh after he was accused by Christine Blasey Ford of sexual assault when they were teenagers in the 1980s.
The Biden allegations have forced many feminists to shift position away from what they were saying during the Kavanaugh hearings. The slogan “believe all women” was repeated and used on social media throughout. Now Biden is pushing for “hearing” women and pushing for investigations of claims.
Actress Alyssa Milano, who acted as a de facto spokeswoman for MeToo during the Kavanaugh hearings, called for “due process” for Biden weeks ago when the Reade allegations first surfaced.
“I believe that, even though we should believe women… For so long, the go-to has been not to believe them. So really, we have to sort of societally change that mindset to believing women, but that does not mean at the expense of not giving men their due process,” Milano tweeted last month.
“I don’t feel comfortable throwing away a decent man that I’ve known for 15 years,” she said of Biden.
Lauren Victoria Burke is an independent journalist for NNPA and the host of the podcast BURKEFILE. She is also a political strategist as Principal of Win Digital Media LLC. She may be contacted at LBurke007@gmail.com and on twitter at @LVBurke