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 JeffriesDemocratic lawmakers introduce legislation to ensure US can mass-produce COVID-19 vaccine Calls for police reform sparks divisions in Congress Democrats call for Congress to take action following death of George Floyd MORE (D-N.Y.), a member of House Democratic leadership, said allegations of sexual assault leveled against former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenOVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Murkowski, Mattis criticism ratchets up pressure on GOP over Trump| Esper orders hundreds of active-duty troops outside DC sent home day after reversal | Iran releases US Navy veteran Michael White Davis: 72 hours cementing the real choice for November OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump signs order removing environmental reviews for major projects | New Trump air rule will limit future pollution regulations, critics say | DNC climate group calls for larger federal investment on climate than Biden plan 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 GillibrandSenate Dems press DOJ over coronavirus safety precautions in juvenile detention centers Senate Democrat introduces bill to protect food supply It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process 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 PelosiPelosi: 'Scary' to see uniformed troops on steps of Lincoln Memorial Pelosi: Democrats to unveil sweeping criminal justice proposal Monday Pelosi demands Trump clarify deployment of unidentified law enforcement in DC 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."