For years, police and prosecutors have dismissed credible claims of domestic violence and sexual assault out of hand. But in order to make up for that legacy, some have swung to the other extreme–chasing down claims of domestic violence and sexual assault even when forensic and eyewitness evidence suggests those claims are non-credible.
Tara Reade’s claim that Joe Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993, while she was working in his Senate office, appears to be the latest example of this extreme. To most of us in the reality-based world, Reade’s claims were torpedoed on May 15, when PBS NewsHour uncovered forensic evidence that didn’t match Reade’s claims. Watch the report here.
Reade has long claimed that Biden assaulted her in a semi-private area near his office in the Russell Senate Office Building. However, according to NewsHour, there were “no out-of-view areas” along the route between the Russell Building and the Capitol. Quite the opposite, actually–it’s a high-traffic area that is a “main thoroughfare for Senators and staffers.”
NewsHour’s reporting appeared to corroborate earlier reporting from Newsweek’s Andrew Feinberg, who had noted that the area where Reade said the assault occurred corresponded to the Capitol subway terminal, and was also near a Capitol Police post. On paper, this should have been enough to completely discredit Reade.
In light of this forensic evidence, if you believed Reade, you would have to believe that a Senator would be brazen enough to sexually assault someone in a high-traffic area with Anita Hill still fresh on the nation’s political consciousness. That hardly sounds plausible.
But such little things as forensic evidence appeared to matter little to the people behind “We Believe Tara Reade,” a group of diehard Reade supporters. That was amply demonstrated on Friday, when Reade came out of hiding for an interview with democratic socialist podcaster Ryan Knight. Listen to a clip here.
When Twitter user “@Star5AtNight” saw this, she felt that she had to remind Knight that he was talking to someone who couldn’t keep her story straight.
Another Twitter user, “@hoakehrler,” pointed out that Reade’s story doesn’t match the forensic evidence.
Now how did the “We Believe Tara Reade” crowd respond?
Cliff Notes version: “La-la-la, can’t hear you!”
Let’s review what Reade and her tailenders are asking us to believe. You mean that three years after Anita Hill elevated sexual assault into the national conversation, a sitting Senator brazenly assaulted one of his aides in a high-traffic area of the Capitol? No prosecutor with an iota of integrity would bring an indictment based on a story that is so far off from the forensic evidence.
Granted, the standard for fitness for office is much lower than the standard for convicting someone in a criminal trial. But would anyone with an iota of intelligence take Reade’s claims seriously when presented with how far off the forensic evidence is from her claims?
Reade’s aim is clear–to torpedo Biden’s campaign. There is something fundamentally wrong if this is even potentially possible based on evidence this shaky, and especially when the forensic evidence actually contradicts the claims. Reade and her followers ought to be ashamed of themselves.
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