McConnell: Biden will have to release information related to Reade allegation
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Thursday that he expected former Vice President Joe Biden will “have to participate” in releasing information related to a sexual assault allegation from former Biden staffer Tara Reade.
“Well look, when you run for president of the United States your life is an open book, and I can’t imagine that Vice President Biden is not going to have to participate in releasing all of the information related to the allegations,” McConnell told Fox News.
“It’s a very challenging thing to run for president, and I think everyone who has done that has realized that their entire life is opened up to scrutiny, and I think that is happening to Vice President Biden and they shouldn’t be surprised,” he added.
McConnell’s prediction that Biden will have to release information related to the allegation comes as Republicans have largely stood by President Trump, who has faced allegations of sexual assault or misconduct from nearly two dozen women.
McConnell was asked if the University of Delaware should release records from Biden’s time in the Senate, which would include 1993, when Reade alleges that Biden sexually assaulted her. Biden previously donated his Senate papers to the university, which said in April 2019 that they will be made publicly available as soon as Dec. 31, 2019, or “two years after the donor retires from public life.”
Reade has said Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993, when she worked in the then-senator’s office. Business Insider reported earlier this week that Reade’s former neighbor said Reade told her of the accusation against Biden in 1993.
Biden is facing growing calls, including from the Washington Post editorial board, to unseal his Senate papers. But high-profile Democrats have come to his defense, with both Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Stacey Abrams, a top candidate to be Biden’s running mate, saying they do not believe the allegation against Biden.
Biden has not directly addressed the allegation, but his campaign has vehemently denied it.
Biden “firmly believes that women have a right to be heard — and heard respectfully. Such claims should also be diligently reviewed by an independent press. What is clear about this claim: It is untrue. This absolutely did not happen,” his campaign has said.
His campaign has also distributed talking points to surrogates that highlight Biden’s work on legislation like the Violence Against Women Act and note that in Biden’s 40 years in public life, this is the only accusation of its kind.
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