Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus Rep. Hakeem Jeffries was elected to replace outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Wednesday. Jeffries made headlines during the 2020 Presidential election when he said that the sexual assault accusation against President Joe Biden by Tara Reade, “needs to be investigated seriously.”
Jeffries addressed the accusation against Biden in April 2020, breaking with the party that he has now been chosen to lead according to Fox News. Reade, whose claims were lent credibility by Jeffries public support, is a former Biden Senate Staffer who accused then-Senator Biden of sexually assaulting her at the Senate Office Building in 1993.
In an account to The New York Times published in Sept. 2020, Reade told reporters that in the Spring of 1993, she had followed after Senator Biden to deliver an athletic bag to him. When she found him, he allegedly pushed the then-29-year-old woman against a cold wall and began kissing her neck and “propositioned her.” As he did so, she told the Times, Biden slid his hand up her blouse and used his knee to part her legs, reaching up her skirt.
“It happened at once. He’s talking to me and his hands are everywhere and everything is happening very quickly,” she told Times reporters. “He was kissing me and he said, very low, ‘Do you want to go somewhere else?’”
Reade said that when she pulled away Biden stopped and reacted with puzzlement or shock. She added, “He said, ‘Come on, man, I heard you liked me.’”
“Vice President Biden has dedicated his public life to changing the culture and the laws around violence against women. He authored and fought for the passage and reauthorization of the landmark Violence Against Women Act. He firmly believes that women have a right to be heard — and heard respectfully. Such claims should also be diligently reviewed by an independent press. What is clear about this claim: It is untrue. This absolutely did not happen,” Kate Bedingfield, a deputy Biden campaign manager, said in a statement according to the Times.
Bedingfield would later become White House Communications Director in the Biden administration.
In April 2020, Jeffries told WNYC “It’s got to be taken seriously because this is a serious allegation raised by a serious individual and needs to be investigated seriously. We’ve probably got to hear from him [Biden] at some point directly.”
He explained, “I’m not really in a position to say what is the appropriate mechanism, although this needs to be taken seriously.”
As House Minority Leader and leader of the Democratic Caucus, Jeffries will be in a position to work with Republicans presumably to be led by Rep. Kevin McCarthy as Speaker, and create a committee to investigate the allegation.
Reade discussed the fallout from her accusation and the responses she received in a Youtube video discussing Biden’s candidacy for 2024.
In a Dec. 1 exclusive interview with The Daily Caller, Reade called upon GOP leaders to open an investigation into her allegations against Biden telling the Caller that she would be willing to testify under oath.
“It would be a very different thing, if I could testify under oath,” Reade said, telling them she would “provide whatever information [Congress] needed and [Congress] could ask me whatever questions they wanted.”
Adding, “I think we need to have the conversation, instead of me being erased, and other women that were erased that tried to come forward.”