News & Politics

D.C. Police Treating Sexual Assault Allegation Against Joe Biden as 'Active and Ongoing' Investigation

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia is actively investigating the sexual assault allegation against Joe Biden made by a former Senate staff member, Tara Reade. The allegation, which first surfaced several months ago, recently came to prominence, forcing major media outlets to cover it.

Washington Examiner:

“This is an active, ongoing investigation, and there are no further details to provide at this time,” a Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson told the Washington Examiner Tuesday regarding Reade’s case. “Cases that are handled by the Metropolitan Police Department’s Sexual Assault Unit go through a multi-review prior to being assigned a disposition. This case is progressing through the review process.”

The statute of limitations has expired on the potential charges, which makes the investigation very unusual. It could be that the police are looking at related, more recent crimes including obstruction of justice or threatening a witness.

On April 9, Reade filed an incident report with the D.C. police that said she “disclosed that she was the victim of a sexual assault which was committed by Subject-2 in 1993.” Reade has confirmed that Subject-2 is Joe Biden, 77, who was a Delaware senator from 1973-2009 before becoming President Barack Obama’s vice president.

Reade, 56, said that she filed an incident report for “safety reasons,” for the purpose of establishing a paper trail in case “something happened to me” and to show that she is serious about her allegation since it is illegal to make a false police report. Since coming forward with her allegations against Biden, she regularly receives threatening and vulgar messages, she told the Washington Examiner.

One professor of sexual violence law who is familiar with police procedures told the Examiner, “You don’t waste resources reviewing something that has no purpose.” If police are even bothering to open a case file on Biden, something else is afoot.

One former officer, who spent years on the force in Washington and spoke to the Washington Examiner on the condition of anonymity because he now works as a consultant for various police departments around the country, said the move struck him as out-of-the-ordinary.

“I wouldn’t expect a department to look into this for that long, maybe just take a report and close it out. It would also automatically be closed. They wouldn’t spend time investigating something they can’t prosecute,” the individual said. “I’m sure the D.C. PD has plenty of work without creating it. Obviously, it’s a very high-profile case, so high-profile cases get a lot more attention, unfortunately, than if the victim or offender wasn’t a known public figure. In spite of that, I wouldn’t expect them to proceed on something that had no chance of getting prosecution.”

Perhaps the reason the police haven’t completely closed out the case is simply that it involves a high-profile individual and a politically explosive charge. The department may just be crossing all “T’s” and dotting all “I’s” to cover its own behind.

Regardless, this story keeps trying to come to the fore, even though most of the media is giving it the silent treatment. Reade isn’t dropping it anytime soon, although she apparently has no intention of suing or asking Biden for an apology. But perhaps an acknowledgment from Biden that the incident occurred would be enough.