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The Washington Post editorial board called on former Vice President Joe Biden “to listen and to reply” to the allegation of sexual assault against him by his former aide.
The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee should “release relevant records” from his time as a senator, the newspaper’s editorial board contended in a piece published Wednesday, urging a response to the claims made in a criminal complaint filed by former Senate staffer Tara Reade.
“Tara Reade deserves to be heard, and voters deserve to hear her. They deserve to hear from Joe Biden, too,” the piece began.
“There are, at the moment, no clear conclusions. There may never be. But that is no excuse for not searching. One place to start is the records covering Mr. Biden’s 36-year Senate career, donated to the University of Delaware in 2012 and slated for release to the public two years after Mr. Biden ‘retires from public life,'” the Post editorial board wrote.
“These could contain confirmation of any complaint Ms. Reade made, either through official congressional channels or to the three other employees she claims she informed not specifically of the alleged assault but more generally of harassment,” the piece continued. “They could also contain nothing of the sort.”
While Biden has still not directly addressed Reade’s allegations, his campaign has denied the claims and insisted that “this never happened.”
“Insisting on an inventory doesn’t mean one believes Ms. Reade or doesn’t believe her. It signals only a desire for the public to know all that’s able to be known, which ought to be in everyone’s interest,” the Washington Post piece continued, arguing that the public certainly deserves to know all it can about claims involving a presidential candidate.
Although searching through Biden’s records spanning more than three decades “won’t be as easy as some might assume,” the editorial board noted, but “the narrower question is whether the public ought to have as much information as possible about an assault accusation against a presidential contender, and the answer is yes.”
“Another place to look is at the source: the candidate himself,” The Post continued.
While the 77-year-old Democrat may add little to what his campaign has already maintained, the piece added, “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,”
Of course, the liberal paper could not resist injecting criticism of President Donald Trump in the piece, taking note of previous sexual misconduct allegations against him which he responded to by “brushing them off.”
“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 wrote in conclusion.
Reade called for Biden’s Senate documents to be released as well on Tuesday.
“I’m calling for the release of the documents being held by the University of Delaware that contain Biden’s staff personnel records because I believe it will have my complaint form, as well as my separation letter and other documents,” she told Fox News. “Maybe if other staffers that have tried to file complaints would come to light — why are they under seal? And why won’t they be released to the public?”
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