By all rights, Tara Reade should have had her 15 minutes of fame run out on Thursday night. In all likelihood, her claim that then-Senator Joe Biden sexually assaulted her while she was working in his office in 1993 now stands comprehensively discredited. Multiple reports revealed that Reade has been lying about her academic background. Worse, it’s possible that those lies could upend dozens of domestic violence cases on California’s Central Coast.
But apparently no one told the Republican Party’s social media team. They’re still trying to ask Democratic women, “What about Tara Reade?”
On Monday, as part of a deep dive into Reade’s background, CNN noted that Reade claims a bachelor’s degree from Antioch University Seattle, and later served as a visiting professor. However, a spokeswoman for Antioch Seattle stated that Reade–or Alexandra McCabe, as she called herself at the time–attended Antioch, but never graduated. That spokeswoman also denied that Reade was ever a member of the faculty.
According to the Monterey County Weekly, an alt weekly covering the Central Coast, CNN’s report hit defense attorneys in the region from somewhere around nail level on the floor. Prosecutors in Monterey County frequently called Reade as an expert witness on domestic violence. She has testified in at least 20 cases over the last decade.
When word got out that Antioch denied a Tara Reade–or any of her aliases–ever earned a degree from the school, defense attorneys began reviewing all cases in which Reade testified. The New York Times reports that the Monterey County public defender’s office is compiling a list of clients who may have been impacted by Reade’s testimony.
In response, Reade claimed that she earned her degree as part of a special “protected program” for victims of domestic violence. She claims that she had recently changed her identity after separating from an abusive husband, and wanted to make sure her identity would be protected while completing her coursework. Supposedly, then-chancellor Tulisse “Toni” Murdock personally worked with Reade to help her get her degree.
However, Antioch Seattle told The Times what it told CNN on Monday–no such program existed. Through the university, Murdock stated that the arrangement Reade claimed never existed.
The implications are nothing short of seismic. If Reade indeed misrepresented her credentials under oath and her testimony directly impacted the cases in which she testified, the convictions could be thrown out. This includes at least one case where Reade’s testimony resulted in two women being sent to prison for life. Worse, Reade could potentially face perjury charges.
And yet, it doesn’t look like the GOP’s social media team was paying attention. Mere hours after this story broke, the GOP’s official Twitter account shared a Fox News op-ed written the previous day by First Daughter-in-Law Lara Trump.
Lara called out House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 2016 Democratic standardbearer Hillary Clinton, and Senators Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris for rallying behind Biden after they helped lead the charge against Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation. She pointed out that Biden faced accusations of inappropriate behavior that were “more recent” than those made by Christine Blasey Ford, and were made mostly by women who “have little incentive to lie” about a fellow Democrat.
This tweet was sent at 11 am Eastern–more than 12 hours after Reade was exposed as a serial embellisher and likely perjurer. And yet, the GOP was still asking, “What about Tara Reade?” Even if the GOP’s continued willingness to gloss over the multiple credible accusations of sexual assault against Donald Trump, this tweet isn’t aging well.
One has to wonder–does the GOP have anyone with a pulse monitoring the official social media feeds? After all, this is the sort of thing that should have been deleted if it had been scheduled to post. It’s not a good look for a major political party to appear that it isn’t paying attention to the news.
For years, the GOP has claimed that Democrats were willing to let Bill Clinton get away with perjury. And yet, if this tweet is still there, you have to wonder if they’re willing to use an exposed perjurer as a cudgel with which to beat Democrats over the head. If that’s the case, than whenever Republicans try to accuse Democrats of condoning perjury, Democrats should simply respond, “Tara Reade.”
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