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Top House Democrat: Tara Reade allegation against Biden 'needs to be investigated seriously'

Top House Democrat: Tara Reade allegation against Biden 'needs to be investigated seriously'
© Greg Nash

Rep. Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesHouse Democrats pick Aguilar as No. 6 leader in next Congress Nominated for another Speaker term, Pelosi says it's her last Katherine Clark secures No. 4 leadership spot for House Democrats MORE (D-N.Y.), a member of House Democratic leadership, said allegations of sexual assault leveled against former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden team wants to understand Trump effort to 'hollow out government agencies' Overnight Defense: Trump transgender ban 'inflicts concrete harms,' study says | China objects to US admiral's Taiwan visit Protect our world: How the Biden administration can save lives and economies worldwide MORE, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, must be investigated.

“It’s got to be taken seriously because this is a serious allegation raised by a serious individual and needs to be investigated seriously. We’ve probably got to hear from him [Biden] at some point directly,” Jeffries said Wednesday on WNYC when asked about allegations brought by Tara Reade, who worked for Biden when he was in the Senate.

Jeffries added that he still had to “delve deeper” into the allegations and was “not really in a position to say what is the appropriate mechanism” as he had been prioritizing responding to the coronavirus.

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Reade came forward last month with allegations that Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993 while she worked for the then-Delaware senator. Her claim began to pick up traction when a former neighbor of Reade's came forward to say that Reade told her about the allegation in the mid-1990s, marking the first time the accusation was corroborated on the record. 

Jeffries’s remarks appear to be the furthest any Democrat has gone when talking about Reade’s accusation.

Several Democrats, including Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandDemocratic senators urge Facebook to take action on anti-Muslim bigotry Social media responds to Harris making history: 'I feel like our ancestors are rejoicing' Ocasio-Cortez says she doesn't plan on 'staying in the House forever' MORE (N.Y.) and Stacey Abrams, a potential running mate for Biden, have defended the former vice president and said they believe his campaign’s denial. 

Biden has yet to address the allegation himself. 

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiVoters want a strong economy and leadership, Democrats should listen On The Money: Biden to nominate Yellen for Treasury secretary | 'COVID cliff' looms | Democrats face pressure to back smaller stimulus Democrats face increasing pressure to back smaller COVID-19 stimulus MORE (D-Calif.), who endorsed Biden on Monday, said that she was “satisfied” with his campaign’s explanation that the incident with Reade did not occur.

“I have great sympathy for any women who bring forth an allegation. I’m a big strong supporter of the 'Me Too' movement. I think it’s been a great contribution to our country. And I do support Joe Biden," Pelosi said on CNN on Thursday. "I’m satisfied with how he has responded. I know him. I was proud to endorse him on Monday."