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The Progressive - April 17, 2020

“For a woman to come forward in the glaring lights of focus, nationally, you’ve got to start off with the presumption that at least the essence of what she’s talking about is real.”

Many major news outlets are beginning to reach the same conclusion: There is enough substance to the accusation by Alexandra Tara Reade, a former aide to Joe Biden, that he sexually assaulted her twenty-seven years ago to warrant calling it to the public’s attention.

Are Reade’s allegations credible? Is there proof that it happened? Did she tell anyone about it contemporaneously? 

For each of these questions, the answers are complicated.

Reade herself has had a hard, complicated life. She says she was abused by her father, physically and emotionally, who prevented her from going to the prestigious Juilliard School of Drama, after she had been accepted. She married an abusive man, from whom she fled with her daughter to Seattle, changing her name and Social Security number to hide from him. 

From December 1992 to August 1993, Reade worked as an aide for Biden, then a U.S. Senator. One day in 1993, she claims she was alone with Biden when he suddenly began kissing and groping her, eventually putting his hands under her dress and penetrating her with his fingers. 

According to her account, she pulled away from him and with a “shocked” look he said, “Come on, man, I heard you liked me.”

Reade said she told other people her account of what happened, well before Biden began his run for President in 2019 and even before he was selected as Vice President in 2008. 

“A friend said that Ms. Reade told her about the alleged assault at the time, in 1993,” The New York Times reported. “A second friend recalled Ms. Reade telling her in 2008 that Mr. Biden had touched her inappropriately and that she’d had a traumatic experience while working in his office.”

There are some things, however, that raise questions about the motivations and timing of Reade’s allegations. Like what she wrote in an 2019 essay: “I love Russia with all my heart. I love the people, the history, the culture, and even my attempts to learn the language.” She goes on to call Vladimir Putin “a compassionate, caring, visionary leader,” adding that “his sensuous image projects his love for life, the embodiment of grace while facing adversity.”

Oddly, prior to 2018, Reade had repeatedly condemned Russia on social media and praised Biden on many things, including his #ItsOnUs campaign to end sexual assault. 

Because of this, a conspiracy theory hinted at in many social media posts is that, because Russia swayed the election in 2016 in Trump’s favor, somehow the Russians have enticed Reade to fabricate a story about Biden in their latest attempt to help Trump.

But it is still hard to fathom that Reade is making all of this up. 

In addition to working as a member of a U.S. Senator’s staff, as well as for other prominent politicians, Reade graduated from law school in 2004, spent several years as an advocate for domestic violence survivors, and from 2007 to 2010 was executive director of a large pet rescue group. 

As late as November 2019, Reade was serving as a domestic violence expert witness for the Monterey County, California, District Attorney’s office. 

It’s clear to any fair-minded person looking at this, that more investigation is warranted. 

If Joe Biden is being wrongly accused, a thorough investigation may exonerate him, or at least provide more information that will allow primary voters and convention delegates to make a more informed decision about their party’s nominee. The Democratic National Committee should call for it. This would send strong signal that the Democratic Party takes allegations of sexual assault seriously. ...
Read full report at The Progressive