As I wrote at the time of the Kavanaugh hearings, we knew nothing for certain about what, if anything, happened between the nominee and Blasey Ford when they were in high school. I found the latter to be a credible witness. When paired with Kavanaugh’s bizarre, unhinged, wildly defensive, and dishonest response to her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, I concluded that, on balance, the best option was for his nomination to be withdrawn and for the president to nominate an alternative conservative jurist to the high court in his place. But I never for a moment supposed that I knew for certain that Kavanaugh had done what Blasey Ford accused him of doing.

Based on what we know at the moment, Reade’s accusation against Biden is flimsier than Blasey Ford’s. Democrats would be foolish to #BelieveReade over the Biden campaign’s blanket denial when her account of events from nearly three decades ago has changed so dramatically in just the past few weeks. As Michelle Goldberg recently pointed out in The New York Times, Reade also has a history of saying … peculiar things about Russia and Vladimir Putin that raise questions about her judgment. That doesn’t mean that the events she now describes didn’t happen. But in deciding whether to accept her account, we must make our own judgment about her credibility and trustworthiness — and as Cathy Young at Arc Digital has shown with care and skill, there is a lot of reason for doubt, and so ample reason for Democrats to treat her claims with skepticism.