WaPo editorial board calls for Biden to address Tara Reade allegations

The Washington Post editorial board on Wednesday called on former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, to address allegations of a 1993 sexual assault from former aide Tara Reade and release documents relating to his Senate career.

In the editorial, the board says there are “no clear conclusions” regarding the accuracy of Reade’s account but notes that the 1,875 boxes and 415 gigabytes of Senatorial records, which were donated to the University of Delaware in 2012, could confirm whether Reade filed a complaint over the alleged incident.

Examining the documents, the editorial board states, would not necessarily indicate belief or disbelief in Reade’s claims but rather “a desire for the public to know all that’s able to be known, which ought to be in everyone’s interest.”

Biden has not directly addressed Reade’s allegations, but his campaign has stated that “this never happened.” Despite the comment from his campaign, the former vice president himself should also directly address the allegation, the editorial board says.

“The way to signal he takes Ms. Reade’s case seriously, and the cases of women like her seriously, is to go before the media and the public ready to listen and to reply,” the board writes.

“President Trump has been credibly accused of sexual assault, including rape, by dozens of women. He has responded by brushing them off, once claiming repulsively, ‘She’s not my type.’ It may seem unfair to hold Mr. Trump’s likely rival in the 2020 race to a standard that Mr. Trump has failed to meet again and again. But Mr. Trump shouldn’t be allowed to set that standard. A better man could,” the board concludes.

New York Times media columnist Ben Smith made a similar proposal Wednesday.

“The thing about Reade story — and many like it — is that media decision-makers still operate under illusion they control whether it’s a story,” Smith tweeted Wednesday. “Why not shortcut the handwringing, and ask Biden to open his personal papers to inspection, which is where this is headed anyway?”

Reade herself called for the release of the documents on Tuesday, the same week a former neighbor, Lynda LaCasse, said she remembered Reade telling her about the alleged assault at the time.

Tags #MeToo Donald Trump Joe Biden Joe Biden Sexual assault Sexual harassment Tara Reade
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