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Joe Biden addresses Tara Reade allegation: ‘This never happened’

2020 election vote
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Presumptive Democratic Party presidential nominee Joe Biden is pushing back against a former staffer who alleges that he sexually assaulted her in 1993.

“I want to address allegations by a former staffer that I engaged in misconduct 27 years ago. They aren’t true. This never happened,” Biden said in a statement released by his campaign Friday morning.

Tara Reade, a former Biden Senate staffer, has alleged that Biden assaulted her in a corridor on Capitol Hill, telling CNN in an interview that Biden “had me up against the wall, he used his knee to spread open my legs,” and “put his fingers inside me.”

She said she told her mother, brother and a close friend about the incident at the time, and a former neighbor has come forward to corroborate that she had talked with Reade about what allegedly happened with Biden.

Reade has said that she confronted Biden’s aides, but the aides that Reade said she had gone to about the alleged incident have said publicly that they were never informed by Reade concerning the allegation.

Reade has also said she filed a complaint with the human resources office in the Senate, but it appears that no record of any complaint from Reade exists.

Biden, in the statement released by his campaign on Friday, went on the attack on these points.

“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,” Biden said.

“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,” Biden said.

Story by Chris Graham

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