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Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren called former Vice President Joe Biden’s response to sexual assault allegations from a former Senate staffer “credible and convincing,” just months after urging for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s impeachment.
“I saw the reports of what Ms. Reade said, I saw an interview with Vice President Biden. I appreciate that the vice president took a lot of questions, tough questions. And he answered them directly and respectfully,” Warren told CNN’s Manu Raju Monday. “The vice president’s answers were credible and convincing.”
Warren made no reference to the fact that then-Supreme Court-nominee Brett Kavanaugh spent more than four hours testifying under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee a year and a half prior on unsubstantiated claims of sexual misconduct far less credible than those of Tara Reade’s.
In March, Reade, who had worked as a staff assistant for Biden when he was a senator from Delaware, came public with claims that Biden in 1993 had forcibly kissed her and penetrated her with his fingers in a congressional hallway. Reade says shortly after, she had discussed the alleged incident with a few close friends and had filed a formal complaint in Biden’s Senate office that ultimately led to her termination.
Since coming forward, five witnesses have corroborated Reade’s timeline of events confirming to the media that Reade did indeed discuss the supposed misconduct with them shortly after. A 1993 tape of CNN’s “Larry King Live” also features Reade’s mother calling into the program sharing a story that matches Reade’s description of events.
Christine Blasey Ford on the other hand, who accused Kavanaugh of a 30-year-old rape attempt was unable to prove that the two had ever even met let alone provide a single corroborating witness. Ford’s lifelong friend, Leland Keyser, was also unable to support Ford’s claims, whose accusations were so weak that Ford’s father supported Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
Whether Biden is actually guilty remains an open question. Biden says the incident never happened, and several former staffers deny knowledge of any such complaint and Reade can’t point to the precise date or location that the alleged incident occurred. Still, the evidence behind Reade’s case paints a consistent story far more credible than anything ever launched at Kavanaugh throughout 2018.
Last week, Biden finally addressed the accusations from a press which had entirely ignored Reade’s charges in the 19 interviews with the presumptive Democratic nominee over the five weeks since the allegations came public.
Biden directly denied the allegations but said he would be keeping his Senate records housed at the University of Delaware sealed until two years after leaving public life. When asked whether he would even allow a search of Tara Reade’s name to find the complaint Reade apparently filed over the incident, Biden rejected the idea claiming the relevant files would be found at the National Archives.
“The National Archives is the only place there would be anything having to do with personnel records,” Biden said Friday.
Meanwhile, it was less than three months ago that Warren, who was seeking the Democratic presidential nomination led the charge against former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to release records related to several women accusing the billionaire businessman of workplace harassment.
“He has gotten some number of women, dozens, who knows to sign non-disclosure agreements both for sexual harassment and gender discrimination in the work place,” Warren said at the Las Vegas debate in February. “So, Mr. Mayor, are you willing to release all of those women from those non-disclosure agreements so we can hear their side of the story?… Are the women being muzzled by you?”
When it came to Kavanaugh, Warren also pushed for a full-blown FBI investigation into several unsupported claims of sexual misconduct which had actually exonerated Kavanaugh prior to his confirmation vote.
When it comes to far more credible allegations against the person who might put her on the ticket however, the burden of proof appears to be much higher.