The evidence of sexual assault against presumed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is building. Tara Reade’s account of Biden’s alleged attack on her has been corroborated by her brother, her neighbor and — from the grave and on Larry King Live — her mother. This already sets her accusation apart from those levied against Brett Kavanaugh, which were believed wholesale and weaponized by Democrats as they tried to stop his ascension to the Supreme Court. Media published every lurid detail of those allegations for weeks on end.
The Democrats and Biden himself have thus far escaped any media queries regarding Reade. Biden has skated through media interview after interview without having to answer questions about it. This week, CNN’s Anderson Cooper failed to ask him about it, leading Reade, a lifelong Democrat who worked for Biden at the time of the alleged assault, to declare that she had lost “total respect” for the CNN anchor.
Reade is no Republican, for what it’s worth. She supported Sen. Elizabeth Warren and then Sen. Bernie Sanders for president.
Biden’s campaign staff have realized that at some point he will face questions, as will other Democrats. They may be forced to defend him at some point. Or denounce him. He is not the nominee yet.
Biden himself will surely face questions if he ever debates President Trump, who will not hesitate to bring it up. Trump may also bring it up at literally any other point between now and Election Day, forcing media coverage and forcing other Democrats to face the questions.
Buzzfeed has obtained the talking points the Biden campaign has distributed to fellow Democrats, who have all remained silent as Reade’s allegation has begun to metastasize.
[T]he messaging shows that while Biden has stayed quiet on the allegations on the eve of his nomination, aides were taking the claims seriously enough behind the scenes to coordinate messaging among other Democrats to try to cast the matter as one that’s been thoroughly vetted and determined to be unfounded.
“Biden believes that all women have the right to be heard and to have their claims thoroughly reviewed,” the talking points read, according to a copy sent to two Democratic operatives. “In this case, a thorough review by the New York Times has led to the truth: this incident did not happen.”
“Here’s the bottom line,” they read. “Vice President Joe Biden has spent over 40 years in public life: 36 years in the Senate; 7 Senate campaigns, 2 previous presidential runs, two vice presidential campaigns, and 8 years in the White House. There has never been a complaint, allegation, hint or rumor of any impropriety or inappropriate conduct like this regarding him — ever.”
The talking points are woefully incomplete, reflecting the campaign’s wish to rely on a pliant media to help them hand-wave Reade away. For one thing, the NYT review does not include any of the newer information including the phone call Reade’s mother placed to Larry King Live on the air in 1993 — in which she discussed her daughter having “problems” with a “prominent senator” she worked for. Reade has been verified to have worked for then Sen. Joe Biden at the time.
KING: San Luis Obispo, California, hello.
CALLER: Yes, hello. I’m wondering what a staffer would do besides go to the press in Washington? My daughter has just left there, after working for a prominent senator, and could not get through with her problems at all, and the only thing she could have done was go to the press, and she chose not to do it out of respect for him.
KING: In other words, she had a story to tell but, out of respect for the person she worked for, she didn’t tell it?
CALLER: That’s true.
This alone is much stronger evidence than any offered up against Kavanaugh.
The fact is, allegations of Biden misbehaving actually go back a few years. In 2014, while Biden was still the vice president, reports surfaced that he swam nude in front of female Secret Service officers.
“Agents say that, whether at the vice president’s residence or at his home in Delaware, Biden has a habit of swimming in his pool nude,” Kessler writes in the book – due for release Aug. 5.
“Female Secret Service agents find that offensive,” he writes.
“Biden likes to be revered as everyday Joe,” an unnamed agent told Kessler. “But the reality is no agents want to go on his detail because Biden makes agents’ lives so tough.”
No one put their name on the record with the skinny dipping allegation, probably because they knew it would be a career-limiting move to say anything negative about the sitting vice president. And a pliant media, Biden already has and will continue to have. Media won’t even scrutinize his record in the Senate, his role in poisonous partisan attacks across his Senate career (Biden is a major reason our politics are so dysfunctional now), or his history of getting every single foreign policy question wrong across four decades.
Beyond the skinny dipping, one just has to Google search “Biden touching people” to turn up a rogue’s gallery of images of Biden creepily touching people, mostly young women and girls, who clearly are not welcoming the experience.
In 2019 as Biden was gearing up to run for president, eight women were known to have accused Biden of touching them inappropriately or getting too close into their personal space. This was long before we had heard the phrase “social distancing.” Biden had to release a video in which he did not apologize but did promise to behave better.
One of the women who stepped forward with allegations prior to this year was Tara Reade. Reade worked in Biden’s Senate office in the 1990s. She said he demoted her after she refused to serve drinks and that he made her “feel like a piece of ornamental furniture.” She has since told far more of her story, in more detail, and her assault allegation as noted above has been corroborated with contemporaneous testimony from three other people. She says she filed a complaint at the time. Her witnesses remember discussing it with her shortly after she says it happened.
So much for Biden’s talking points.
None of this means he’s guilty, of course. Due process should still exist, even for those we oppose politically. But it’s damning — much more so than anything levied at Kavanaugh — and he and his fellow Democrats should be challenged about it.
Bryan Preston is a military veteran and former Hubble Space Telescope producer. He is the author of Hubble’s Revelations: The Amazing Time Machine and Its Most Important Discoveries.