Former Senate aide Alexandra Tara Reade accused 2020 presidential hopeful Joe Biden of sexual assault last month. So who is Tara Reade?
The alleged assault dates back to 1993, when Reade was in her mid twenties and working as a staff assistant for then-Senator Biden. She told the New York Times the former Vice President “pinned her to a wall in a Senate building, reached under her clothing and penetrated her with his fingers.”
Reade formally filed a criminal complaint with Washington, D.C. police on April 10th of this year.
This is not the first time Tara Reade has spoken out against Biden.
In April 2019, Reade told The Union newspaper in Nevada that Biden “used to put his hand on [her] shoulder and run his finger up [her] neck.”
This, while she was working for him.
“I would just kind of freeze and wait for him to stop doing that,” she recalled.
Reade says she filed a sexual harassment complaint in one of the Senate personnel offices. Biden’s campaign denies this ever happened, but reporter Rich McHugh explains: “[University of Delaware] – which houses the collection of Joe Biden’s senatorial papers – just confirmed to me that the papers ‘will remain closed to the public until two years after Mr. Biden retires from public life.’”
He also spoke with an intern who worked under Reade in Biden’s Senate office, “who said that as of mid-April 1993, Reade was abruptly no longer managing the interns. And this intern found that ‘odd.’ The timing coincides with when Reade says she complained.”
And @UDelaware — which houses the collection of Joe Biden's senatorial papers — just confirmed to me that the papers "will remain closed to the public until two years after Mr. Biden retires from public life."
— Rich McHugh (@RichMcHugh) April 21, 2020
The former Senate aide first recounted the alleged incident in its entirety on The Katie Halper Show in March: “I wanted to be a Senator; I didn’t want to sleep with one.”
Reade explained the events leading up to the incident: her superior requested she deliver an “athletic bag” to then-Senator Biden, stating: “he wants you to bring it… he’ll meet you.”
Reade says when she first saw Biden, he was conversing with someone who left as she approached.
“He just said, ‘hey, come here, Tara.’ And then I handed him the [bag]. He greeted me, he remembered my name. And then we were alone – and it was the strangest thing. There was no exchange, really. He just had me up against the wall.”
“It happened all at once,” Reade recalled. “The gym bag – I don’t know where it went. I handed it to him and it was gone; and his hands were on me and underneath my clothes.”
In a detailed account of the events that transpired, Reade told Halper that Biden’s hands went “down [her] skirt, and then up inside it.” She said Biden “penetrated me with his fingers… He was kissing me at the same time, and he was saying something to me.”
“He said several things. I can’t remember everything he said, but I remember a couple of things. I remember him saying first, as he was doing it, ‘do you want to go somewhere else?’”
Reade confessed what had really stuck with her is what happened after the alleged assault.
“He had me against the wall, after I had pulled away, and he said ‘hey, come on. Heard you liked me.’ And I knew he was angry. Right after, he took his finger—he just pointed at me and said ‘you’re nothing to me.’ He just looked at me, and he goes, ‘you’re nothing.’ And I must’ve reacted… because that’s when he took me by the shoulders and said, ‘you’re okay. You’re fine. You’re okay.’ But then afterwards it kept replaying in my head.”
“Last April, when all that stuff came out,” she said, referring to her first allegation against the former Vice President, “I got really, really sad about it. And the thing that I remember most – almost more than the assault itself – was just being told that I was nothing. And he was right. That’s how people treated me; that’s how his office treated me. And I have no platform. I have no one. And to him I’m nothing.”
“If people want to know why women don’t come forward, that’s a good example of why,” she told Halper.
— Raheem Kassam (@RaheemKassam) April 28, 2020
Though there were no witnesses to the assault itself, Reade’s account has been corroborated by four individuals who all remember her telling them about the alleged assault shortly after it occurred: her brother, Collin Moulton; her former coworker, Loraine Sanchez; an anonymous friend; and her neighbor at the time, Lynda LaCasse.
“This happened,” LaCasse asserted to Business Insider about the alleged assault. “I know it did because I remember talking about it.”
According to Business Insider, “LaCasse said she decided to speak up now, at a time when Reade’s story is under intense scrutiny in the media and facing denials from the Biden campaign, because she believed Reade’s account when she first heard it.”
LaCasse explained: “I have to support her just because that’s what happened. We need to stand up and tell the truth.”
Sanchez, who worked with Reade for a California Senator in the mid 1990’s, also told Business Insider she remembers Reade “complaining” about being sexually harassed by her boss during her time in D.C., then “fired after raising concerns.”
Tara Reade’s brother, Collin Moultin, also talked to Business Insider. In his statement, he recalls his sister saying Biden “had his hand under her clothes at some point.”
In addition to the four corroborations, a 1993 video from Larry King’s show on CNN featured an anonymous caller from San Luis Obispo, California discussing issues her daughter faced when working for a “prominent Senator.”
Joe Biden sexual assault victim Tara Reade’s mother apparently called into CNN about the matter in 1993… pic.twitter.com/ufkw0K4Uog
— Raheem Kassam (@RaheemKassam) April 24, 2020
“I’m wondering what a staffer would do besides go to the press in Washington [D.C.]” the woman said. “My daughter has just left there after working for a prominent Senator and could not get through with her problems at all.”
“The only thing she could do was go to the press,” she emphasized, “and she chose not to do it out of respect for him.”
Reade confirmed on Twitter that it is in fact the voice of her now-deceased mother, Jeanette Altimus, on the recording.
“This is my mom,” she wrote. “I miss her so much and her brave support of me.”
This is my mom. I miss her so much and her brave support of me. https://t.co/okU80kqWAI
— taratweets ( Alexandra Tara Reade) (@ReadeAlexandra) April 24, 2020
Despite the caller’s anonymity and no mention of Reade or Biden, CNN reported that in addition to confirmation from Reade herself, “some of the details of the call (it was from San Luis Obispo, California, where her mother lived at the time) seem to suggest it was indeed Reade’s mother.”
Tara Reade is certainly not alone in her accusations against Joe Biden. Seven other women have come forward in the past year alone to accuse the former Vice President of inappropriate touching and kissing, sparked by Lucy Flores’s accusation published in the Cut last April.
Flores, a Democrat politician from Nevada, detailed the encounter in her essay:
“I felt him get closer to me from behind. He leaned further in and inhaled my hair. I was mortified. I thought to myself, ‘I didn’t wash my hair today and the vice-president of the United States is smelling it. And also, what in the actual fuck? Why is the vice-president of the United States smelling my hair?’ He proceeded to plant a big slow kiss on the back of my head. My brain couldn’t process what was happening.”
Though the Democrats and mainstream media are willing to excuse the cognitive and political issues their candidate presents, the ever-growing pile of accusations and evidence against Biden very well may prove to be an insurmountable hurdle in his campaign for the presidency.