Joe Biden, the presumed Democratic presidential nominee Joe on Friday categorically denied a decades-old accusation of sexual assault levelled at him by a former U.S. Senate staffer.
In a lengthy statement posted to his Medium page, the former vice president said the 1993 accusations from Tara Reade “never happened.”
“Responsible news organisations should examine and evaluate the full and growing record of inconsistencies in her story, which has changed repeatedly in both small and big ways,” Biden wrote in his statement.
Reade told The New York Times earlier this month and said in a podcast interview in March that Biden sexually attacked her in an office building on Capitol Hill when he was a U.S. senator from Delaware and she was a staffer. Reade’s brother and a former neighbour have said they recall her discussing the purported assault at the time.
Last year, Reade and seven other women accused Biden of touching them in ways that made them uncomfortable.
Reade said she filed a written complaint with senior staffers in Biden’s office, but no such record has been found and Biden said no one in the office remembers her doing so.
“[Reade] has said she raised some of these issues with her supervisor and senior staffers from my office at the time,” Biden’s statement said.
“They — both men and a woman — have said, unequivocally, that she never came to them and complained or raised issues.
“News organizations that have talked with literally dozens of former staffers have not found one — not one — who corroborated her allegations in any way.”
If a complaint exists, it would be housed in the National Archives.
“I am requesting that the Secretary of the Senate ask the Archives to identify any record of the complaint she alleges she filed and make available to the press any such document,” Biden wrote.
“If there was ever any such complaint, the record will be there.
“As a presidential candidate, I’m accountable to the American people.
“We have lived long enough with a president who doesn’t think he is accountable to anyone and takes responsibility for nothing. That’s not me.
“I believe being accountable means having the difficult conversations, even when they are uncomfortable. People need to hear the truth.”
Biden went on to laud his record of defending women against sexual violence.
“That has been a constant through my career, and as president, that work will continue,” he wrote.
“I started my work over 25 years ago with the passage of the Violence Against Women Act. As president, I’m committed to finishing the job.”
Reported by UPI