Somebody cue Emily Litella, please. I know the New York Times wanted the DNC to investigate the matter, but perhaps they won’t need to. The latest “blockbuster” in the Tara Reade/Joe Biden saga has turned out to be a nothingburger.
By the Time Joe Biden finally got around to talking about Reade’s allegations on Morning Joe this week, yet another huge development had come out of the story. Reade doubled down on her allegations, but added in one little detail we hadn’t heard before. Shortly after the alleged assault, she filed a complaint with the United States Senate against then-Senator Biden. This was a major development in the story because assuming the document could be located, it would provide contemporaneous documentation showing that Reade had lodged her complaint through the appropriate channels.
It was big enough news that Mika Brzezinski pressed Biden on it, asking if he would open up all of his Senate records for inspection to see if the damning document was filed away there. For his part, Biden said that all of his records should be available for search, but he continued to insist that no such document existed. But now, after all of this fuss and bother, Reade has come out and said that her complaint makes no mention of sexual assault. Insert #HeadDesk hashtag here. (NY Post)
Tara Reade’s 1993 complaint against Joe Biden, which she says was filed to the Congressional Personnel Office, does not include any explicit accusations of sexual assault.
“I remember talking about him wanting me to serve drinks because he liked my legs and thought I was pretty and it made me uncomfortable,” Reade told the Associated Press Friday. “I know that I was too scared to write about the sexual assault.” …
AP today reported on notes from its interview last year with Reade in which she said she “chickened out” after visiting the Senate Personnel Office. In the 2019 interview, Reade spoke about Biden making her uncomfortable and inappropriate touching, but did not allege sexual assault.
That last bit about the Associated Press interview from last year is important to this phase of the story. As of yesterday, the AP admitted that they had interviewed Reade last year about these allegations, but wound up scrapping the piece rather than publishing it. Now they’re saying (based on the reporter’s notes) that she told them about filing the report in 1993, but she said she was too frightened to specifically bring up the sexual assault charges.
Whether the document exists or not… whether it ever existed or was lost… none of that matters. The admission that she omitted the assault from her report makes any such document essentially irrelevant to the discussion. Nobody is denying the fact that Reade complained about Joe’s handsy behavior and invasion of personal space, saying it made her “uncomfortable.” We’re talking about Joe Biden here. That’s basically just saying it was another day ending in a Y. That’s baked into the cake as far as Biden’s history goes.
The real news was that he was being accused of something far, far worse. And Reade got everyone worked up, thinking there might be a smoking gun lurking out there. But if both she and the Associated Press reporter knew that the document, if it exists, made no mention of the assault, why on Earth would they wait for days on end before bringing up this critical detail?
As I’ve written here repeatedly, I’ve been going back on forth as to how I feel about the potential veracity of Reade’s allegation. It sounded pretty weak in the beginning, though still stronger than the Blasey-Ford allegations against Kavanaugh. But then, once we heard from the brother, the neighbor, and the phone call her mom made to the Larry King show, I started thinking there might be some real meat on this bone. But now I’m back to wondering if she didn’t just make up the “pinned against the wall” part of the story or if she’s just misremembering it in some fashion. Either way, tossing out the claim about having filed a report only to later reel back in the most damning aspect of it isn’t doing anything for her credibility as far as I’m concerned.