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Tara Reade tells AP Biden complaint did not explicitly detail assault, harassment

Tara Reade, a former Senate staffer who has alleged she was sexually assaulted by former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenGiuliani goes off on Fox Business host after she compares him to Christopher Steele Trump looks to shore up support in Nebraska Jeff Daniels narrates new Biden campaign ad for Michigan MOREtold The Associated Press that the complaint she filed 27 years ago did not explicitly accuse the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee of sexual harassment or 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 AP on Friday. “I know that I was too scared to write about the sexual assault.”

Reade, who previously said she filed a sexual harassment complaint against Biden, said “uncomfortable” was the main word she used in her complaint and noted she was fearful of retaliation. Reade said she intended to report the harassment and assault but “chickened out.” 

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The existence of that report has become a key factor in the allegations against Biden. The presumptive Democratic nominee has vehemently denied the allegations, and on Friday his campaign called for both the secretary of the Senate and the National Archives to assist in locating the alleged complaint file. 

Even if the complaint is located, Reade has not claimed the filing detailed the sexual assault allegation she reported in March. She did not formally report the alleged sexual assault until April of this year, when she filed a police report in Washington, D.C., so any previous documents likely won’t produce evidence related to the assault allegation itself.

However, the claim received increased attention when Reade's former neighbor came forward to say that Reade told her about the allegations in the mid-1990s, going on the record to corroborate the accusation. 

The AP also talked to two people who corroborated Reade’s claims under condition of anonymity.

Democrats and the media have faced scrutiny this week from critics who point to what they call a double standard when it comes to how they addressed allegations against now-Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughBitter fight over Barrett fuels calls to nix filibuster, expand court Justice Barrett's baptism by fire: Protecting the integrity of elections Barrett sworn in as Supreme Court justice by Thomas MORE and Biden.