He hesitated, perhaps delayed too long, until entering the arena on Friday May 1. For the first time, Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential candidate for the United States, has agreed to respond to accusations of sexual harassment against him. It was in the morning show “Morning Joe” on the American channel MSNBC.
“It never happened, period.”
“It never happened” he said, vehemently denying the charges of 56-year-old Tara Reade, who claims he sexually assaulted her in a hallway of the United States Congress, when he was a senator while she worked for him. These allegations on facts dating back to the 1990s “Are not true”, hammered the former American vice-president.
The denials of the candidate’s entourage were no longer sufficient and his silence during the election campaign for the presidential election on November 3 became untenable. Especially since Tara Reade has multiplied the declarations. In a podcast broadcast on March 25, she said that without real “Word exchanges”, “He put me against the wall”, kissed and “He penetrated me with his fingers”.
“It never happened, period.”, he hammered in response to questions from MSNBC journalists. “I’m not going to question her motivations. (…) I’m not going to blame her or attack her. She has the right to say what she wants. And I have the right to say, look at the facts, check “, he continued.
Several former collaborators of Joe Biden working in the Senate at the same time, however assured “Unequivocally that she had never come to them to talk about it, file a complaint or raise this question”, underlined the Democratic candidate.
This case has gray areas. On April 9, Tara Reade sent a report to the Washington police in which she claims to have been a victim “Sexual assault” in 1993. The document – consulted by the AFP – does not mention the name of Joe Biden.
Filing a complaint
Aware that the facts were prescribed, Tara Reade told the conservative newspaper Washington Examiner that she had presented this report to demonstrate that she was ready to make an affidavit. And she said she filed a complaint with the Senate after the fact in 1993, but was unable to provide a copy of the document, according to the New York Times.
Joe Biden asked the Senate to find the existence of this complaint in the National Archives, which lists the documents produced and received by the institutions of the American government.
” I have nothing to hide “said the candidate. But he did not go so far as to request that we seek all the archives of his time in the Senate, stored at the University of Delaware, which would not contain “Private documents”, according to him.
A year ago, several women, including Tara Reade, accused Joe Biden of inappropriate gestures, including overly long and embarrassing hugs, but which were not sexual assaults. Former Barack Obama vice president stressed that women should “Be believed” when they speak up to report acts of harassment or assault. It is necessary “Start with the assumption that they are telling the truth” while emphasizing the analysis of “Circumstances” and ” facts “, he added. “The facts in this case never happened”, he said, in reference to Tara Reade.
Donald Trump to his rescue
The Democratic candidate would have done without unexpected support in this case, that of his opponent Donald Trump. The one who regularly adorns him with the unenviable nickname “sleepy Joe”, unexpectedly came to his rescue: “I would just say to Joe Biden: get up and fight”, commented the president, guest of a podcast on Friday May 1. Donald Trump knows what he is talking about, having been the subject of a dozen charges, ranging from harassment to sexual assault, during the 2016 presidential campaign, which did not prevent him from get elected.
Aware that the Tara Reade affair required a firm response from him at the risk of tarnishing his campaign, Joe Biden announced that he would choose a woman as running mate, who would become, if he won, the first vice-president of the United States. United. And for a few weeks, the rumors evoke for this post … Michelle Obama.