- The Washington Times - Friday, May 1, 2020

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden said Friday the allegation of sexual assault that former Senate staffer Tara Reade has leveled against him “never happened.”

Mr. Biden issued a statement unequivocally denying the accusation and addressed the accusations during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“They aren’t true,” Mr. Biden said. “This never happened.”

Ms. Reade claims Mr. Biden in 1993 pinned her to a wall, dug under her skirt and violated her with his fingers.

Mr. Biden said Friday that if Ms. Reade filed a complaint at the time, as she claims, then the only place it could be is in the National Archives — not in the Senate papers that he donated to the University of Delaware.



Mr. Biden said the complaint should be released if it exists.

Ms. Reade last year said that Mr. Biden made her feel uncomfortable when she worked in his office in the 1990s and took things to another level in March when she accused him of sexually assaulting her in a basement hallway of the Capitol building.

The allegation has hung over Mr. Biden’s bid.

On MSNBC “Morning Joe,” Mr. Biden said he has not reached out to Ms. Reade. Mr. Biden said he doesn’t recall a complaint being filed against him and said he has never asked anyone working for him to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

“It was 27 years ago,” he said. “The fact is I don’t remember, I don’t remember any complaint ever being made.”

“This is an open book, there is nothing for me to hide,” Mr. Biden said.

It marked the first time that Mr. Biden had directly addressed the allegation. The Biden campaign had previously said the charge was absolutely false.

Mr. Biden and Democrats have been cast as a hypocrite for arguing during Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing in 2018 that a woman that levels allegations of sexual misconduct should be believed.

Mr. Biden said Friday when women make allegations of sexual misconduct that they should get “the benefit of the doubt” and said then “you have to look at the circumstances and facts.”

Mr. Biden said there is a “growing record of inconsistencies in her story, which has changed repeatedly in both small and big ways.”

Mr. Biden said Ms. Reade says she filed a personnel complaint against him in 1993, but said she does not have any record of it.

Mr. Biden also pushed back against Ms. Reade and others who have called on him to release the Senate papers in response to the allegation.

“The papers from my Senate years that I donated to the University of Delaware do not contain personnel files,” Mr. Biden said. “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.”

Mr. Biden said that a record of the kind might be found in the National Archives.

“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,” he said. “If there was ever any such complaint, the record will be there.”

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