Democrats Need to be Talking About Tara Reade

Joe Biden has been credibly accused of sexual assault, and it is irresponsible for Democrats to ignore these allegations just because the accused is our presumptive nominee.

In fact, for a moment, put the general election aside. The “but Trump is worse” arguments are not the point, should not be the point when a woman comes forward. I’m not telling you how to vote in November. I’m telling you Joe Biden sexually assaulted Tara Reade in 1993. If you support him anyway, that is up to you.

Tara Reade worked as a staff assistant in Biden’s Senate office in 1993. The details of the incident are chilling, and you should hear them in Reade’s own words:

At the time, Reade told her mother, two friends, and her brother about the assault. A few years later, she also told her neighbor Lynda LaCasse and colleague Lorraine Sanchez. All parties have confirmed Reade’s account, except her mother, who has since passed away.

Reade says she filed a complaint with the congressional personnel office, and that afterward, some of her responsibilities were taken away from her, including the overseeing of the office interns. These interns recall that Reade abruptly stopped supervising them in April 1993. The formal complaint has not yet surfaced, possibly because Biden is not allowing a search for Reade’s name in his Senate records, housed at the University of Delaware. Separately, he is calling for a search of the National Archives, but a spokesperson for the Archives has said they do not hold records from that office.

Although Reade didn’t want to go to the press at the time, she remembers her mother calling into Larry King Live in 1993 to ask anonymously how she could help her daughter. That video has surfaced:

Reade and her brother confirm that this is their mother’s voice. Her mother did live in San Luis Obispo, and the timeline matches Reade’s account.

Last year, Reade came forward to publicly accuse Biden of sexual harassment. In October, she said harassment was not the full story, and this January when she was ready to speak about the assault, she was refused help. She went to Time’s Up, an organization established in the wake of the #MeToo movement to help survivors tell their stories, but Time’s Up declined to help her because Biden was a candidate for federal office, and so they said helping Reade could jeopardize the organization’s nonprofit status. Additional context for this is that the managing director of Time’s Up’s PR firm is Anita Dunn, who is also the top advisor to Biden’s presidential campaign.

Reade was finally able to share her story with the help of Ryan Grim at The Intercept and Katie Halper’s podcast. Although this story broke in March, mainstream news outlets were silent until Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign and Biden became the presumptive nominee. The New York Times and The Washington Post each wrote investigative pieces this month, leaving out some of the corroborating evidence that surfaced afterward (such as LaCasse and Sanchez’s statements, as well as the Larry King Live video). Later, The Times admitted to changing a part of their piece after publication at the behest of the Biden campaign.

Biden’s surrogates and prominent endorsers have sided with him and denounced Tara Reade, but it wasn’t until Friday that Biden himself was asked about these allegations. He categorically denied them.

Joe Biden has a history of touching women in ways that made them uncomfortable, a pattern of behavior that should not be ignored. He also routinely lies about his past statements, voting record, and the effects of various policy positions. His dishonesty is well-documented, but not only do I distrust Biden,

I believe Tara Reade.

Reade has more evidence to corroborate her story than Christine Blasey Ford had for hers. We need to be principled and consistent in responding to serious allegations like these. Democrats believed Ford. They should believe Reade as well.

Remember, Joe Biden has not officially won the nomination. It’s not too late for the party to reopen the primary, to replace Biden with someone who has not committed sexual assault. Democratic voters need to be talking about this. We need to demand that Joe Biden step down. When we are silent about Tara Reade, not only are we hurting our chances of ousting Trump in November, but we are telling survivors that if they speak out against a Democrat, their voices will be diminished, discredited, or ignored.

Former organizer for @BernieSanders in Iowa and Nevada 🌹 Tweets about US politics and the failures of capitalism

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