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Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., reportedly questioned Tara Reade‘s sexual harassment allegations against Joe Biden Thursday, calling them “absolutely ridiculous” while asking “where has she been all these years?”
Feinstein discussed the matter with reporters while defending her support of Christine Blasey Ford, whose sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh riled Washington for several months in 2018 and pitted Democrats and Republicans against each other during his much-publicized and contentious Senate confirmation hearing.
Ford claimed Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a high school party in 1982, an allegation known by Feinstein’s office for two months before it was reported publicly.
Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on Senate Judiciary Committee, said, “Kavanaugh was under the harshest inspection that we give people over a substantial period of time,” while rejecting accusations of a double-standard.
Reade recently came forward to accuse Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, of sexually assaulting her in 1993 when he was a senator from Delaware and she was employed as his staffer.
She said Biden kissed her and touched her without her consent. Biden denies the allegations.
“They aren’t true. This never happened,” he said in a statement last week.
A newly emerged 1996 court document shows Reade’s ex-husband was told about the allegations that allegedly took place in Biden’s office, according to a media report.
“On several occasions Petitioner related a problem that she was having at work regarding sexual harassment, in U.S. Senator Joe Biden’s office,” the court document obtained by the San Luis Obispo Tribune reads. “Petitioner told me she struck a deal with the chief of staff of the senator’s office and left her position.”
Speaking of Reade’s claims, Feinstein questioned why she waited 27 years to make them public.
“I don’t know this person at all who has made the allegations,” she said. “She came out of nowhere. Where has she been all these years? He was vice president.”
In her first televised interview, Reade told Megyn Kelly that she wished Biden would drop his White House bid.
“I wish he would, but he won’t,” Reade said. “But I wish he would. That’s how I feel emotionally.”
Several prominent Democrats have come out in support of Biden, including Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.