WASHINGTON — Tara Reade, the previous Senate staffer who alleges Joe Biden sexually assaulted her 27 years in the past, says she filed a restricted report with a congressional personnel workplace that didn’t explicitly accuse him of sexual assault or harassment.
“I bear in mind speaking about him wanting me to serve drinks as a result of he preferred my legs and thought I used to be fairly and it made me uncomfortable,” Reade stated in an interview Friday with The Related Press. “I do know that I used to be too scared to write down in regards to the sexual assault.”
Reade stated she described her points with Biden however “the primary phrase I used — and I do know I didn’t use sexual harassment — I used ‘uncomfortable.’ And I bear in mind ‘retaliation.’”
Reade described the report after the AP found extra transcripts and notes from its interviews with Reade final 12 months during which she says she “chickened out” after going to the Senate personnel workplace. The AP interviewed Reade in 2019 after she accused Biden of uncomfortable and inappropriate touching. She didn’t elevate allegations of sexual assault in opposition to Biden till this 12 months, across the time he turned the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.
The existence of the Senate report has turn out to be a key aspect of the accusations in opposition to Biden, which he has flatly denied. Reade says she doesn’t have a duplicate of the report, and Biden stated Friday that he’s not conscious that any grievance in opposition to him exists. He requested the Senate and the Nationwide Archives to go looking their information to attempt to find a grievance from Reade.
However Reade is suggesting that even when the report surfaces, it might not corroborate her assault allegations as a result of she selected to not element them on the time.
In keeping with a transcript of her 2019 interview with the AP, Reade stated: “They’ve this counseling workplace or one thing, and I feel I walked in there as soon as, however then I chickened out.” She made an analogous assertion in a second interview with AP that very same day, in keeping with written notes from the interview.
On Friday, Reade stated she was referring to having “chickened out” by not submitting full harassment or assault allegations in opposition to Biden. In a number of interviews with the AP on Friday, Reade insisted she filed an “consumption kind” on the Senate personnel workplace, which included her contact data, the workplace she labored for and a few broad particulars of her points with Biden.
Reade was one among eight ladies who got here ahead final 12 months with allegations that Biden made them really feel uncomfortable with inappropriate shows of affection. Biden acknowledged the complaints and promised to be “extra conscious about respecting private house sooner or later.”
Throughout one of many April 2019 interviews with the AP, she stated Biden rubbed her shoulders and neck and performed together with her hair. She stated she was requested by an aide in Biden’s Senate workplace to decorate extra conservatively and informed “don’t be so attractive.”
She stated of Biden: “I wasn’t fearful of him, that he was going to take me in a room or something. It wasn’t that sort of vibe.”
The AP reviewed notes of its 2019 interviews with Reade after she got here ahead in March with allegations of sexual assault in opposition to Biden. However reporters found an extra transcript and notes from these interviews on Friday.
A recording of one of many interviews was deleted earlier than Reade emerged in 2020 with new allegations in opposition to Biden, in line with the reporter’s customary follow for disposing of previous interviews. A portion of that interview was additionally recorded on video, however not the half during which she spoke of getting “chickened out.”
The AP declined to publish particulars of the 2019 interviews on the time as a result of reporters had been unable to corroborate her allegations, and facets of her story contradicted different reporting.
Petrified of backlash
In current weeks, Reade informed the AP and different information organizations that Biden sexually assaulted her, pushing her in opposition to a wall within the basement of a Capitol Hill workplace constructing in 1993, groping her and penetrating her along with his fingers. She says she was fired from Biden’s workplace after submitting a grievance with the Senate alleging harassment.
The accusation has roiled Biden’s presidential marketing campaign, sparking nervousness amongst Democrats. Republicans have accused Biden backers of hypocrisy, arguing that they’ve been fast to imagine ladies who’ve accused President Donald Trump and different conservatives of assault. Trump has confronted a number of accusations of assault and harassment, all of which he denies.
Reade says she was reluctant to share particulars of the assault throughout her preliminary conversations with reporters over a 12 months in the past as a result of she was fearful of backlash, and was nonetheless coming to phrases with what occurred to her.
Two of Reade’s associates stated publicly this previous week that Reade had conversations with them that they stated corroborated facets of her allegation. One, a former neighbor, stated Reade informed her in regards to the alleged assault a number of years after Reade stated it occurred. The opposite, a former coworker, stated Reade informed her she had been sexually harassed by her boss throughout her earlier job in Washington.
The AP has additionally spoken to 2 extra individuals, who spoke on situation of anonymity to guard their households’ privateness, who stated Reade had informed them about facets of her allegations in opposition to Biden years in the past.
One buddy, who knew Reade in 1993, stated Reade informed them in regards to the alleged assault when it occurred. The second buddy met Reade greater than a decade after the alleged incident and confirmed that Reade had a dialog with the buddy in 2007 or 2008 about experiencing sexual harassment from Biden whereas working in his Senate workplace.
Thompson reported from Nevada Metropolis, California.
Compensate for the 2020 election marketing campaign with AP specialists on our weekly politics podcast, “Floor Sport.”