Go read Reagan's post on Dianne Feinstein's embarrassing performance yesterday on Capitol Hill, after she was asked about her treatment of Christine Blasey Ford in 2018 versus her treatment of Tara Reade now. Feinstein was the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee during the Kavanaugh fiasco -- which burst into the open despite her initial decision that Ford's allegation against him wasn't backed by sufficient evidence to pursue as an issue during the confirmation fight. But the information she'd seen and shelved behind the scenes leaked to the press at the eleventh hour, and the rest is history. (My best guess, incidentally, remains that the culprits were either ideological leftists on the committee staff, or one of the Democratic members who was planning to run for president).
I'll remind you that not only did Feinstein say and tweet many sentiments in support of Dr. Ford, she even insisted on including the deranged, debunked, lunatic ravings of Julie Swetnick -- of 'gang rapes' and Avenatti notoriety -- in her formal questioning of Kavanaugh. In fact, she and every one of her party's judiciary members seized on that insane accusation as the moment to demand Kavanaugh's withdrawal. That embarrassing document remains accessible on their website. It is profoundly damning, especially in light of the utter garbage Feinstein is currently spouting:
"Why didn't she say something -- you know when he was Chairman of the Judiciary Committee or after that?" Feinstein rejected the notion of a Dem double standard and argued the situation isn’t “comparable” to Kavanaugh— Manu Raju (@mkraju) May 7, 2020
"She came out of nowhere. Where has she been all these years? To attack him this way, to me, is absolutely ridiculous." Each of those words could have been spoken about Ford and Kavanaugh. Also, Feinstein has issued explicit guidance on the timing of a victim speaking out:
President Trump, I've said many, many times that my actions were motivated by Dr. Ford's request for confidentiality. Victims must be able to come forward only when they are ready.— Senator Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) September 21, 2018
Then: Victims must be able to come forward only when they are ready. Now: Where the hell have you been all these years, woman? This seems like a good time to note that Ford waited years longer to go public with her Kavanaugh claim than Reade did, and that she presented zero contemporaneous evidence backing her story. Her one hand-selected key witness and close friend declined to corroborate her recollection, later admitted that she did not believe Ford, and reported to the FBI that she'd been pressured to lie by Ford allies. By contrast, Reade told numerous people at the time of her alleged assault what had happened, and her story is bolstered by the Larry King Live phone call from her mother, as well as this new evidence:
This is more contemporaneous documented proof that something was up back then, and it blows a hole in the Democratic talking point that anything untoward about Biden along these lines would surely have come up in Team Obama's extensive Vice Presidential vetting process. Here we are 12 years later, and this document is discovered -- not by the Washington Post or New York Times (whose supposedly comprehensive report was touted by Biden's campaign as a basis for their denials), but by a local news outlet. The document can be perceived as strong support for her story, or as a problem for her. Remember, she's shifted her account about what happened to her physically, from unwanted touching to sexual assault. The 1996 complaint mentioned in the court papers references unspecified harassment by someone, not necessarily assault by Biden. Reade has said she was embarrassed to tell some people exactly what happened, including the Post at first, but she told others the full details at the time. Some have since confirmed that to be the case. But then there's this:
Again, this is up for interpretation. Did this friend mislead a reporter to protect Reade's wishes not to discuss the full extent of the assault at that point, or was the story substantively different all along, before changing more recently for some reason? Once again, I return to the principles of caution, skepticism and the presumption of innocence. There are issues and concerns I have about Reade's story. Inconsistencies should matter. Many of Biden's defenders are eager to point them out today, even as they angrily dismissed them as 'survivor blaming' in Ford's case. Also, check out this framing from the Associated Press:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Tara Reade, a former Senate staffer who alleged Joe Biden sexually assaulted her 27 years ago, is being represented by a prominent lawyer and political donor to President Donald Trump’s 2016 Republican campaign.— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) May 8, 2020
First, that same lawyer has also donated to Democrats and represented multiple victims of Harvey Weinstein. The latter fact was buried deeper in the story, and obviously didn't make the cut for the tweet. Second, Ford was set up with her partisan lawyers (who shared her overall ideology, which isn't the case with Reade) by Senate Democrats...Dianne Feinstein, to be specific. Her lead attorney eventually revealed that at least part of their aim was ideological. These facts received scant attention outside conservative media. But the AP is leading with a Trump connection to the man representing Reade. The press is not subtle sometimes. Signal sent, guys. I'll leave you with the first snippets of Megyn Kelly's exclusive interview with Reade (produced by Ronan Farrow's former NBC producer):
MK EXCLUSIVE: Will Tara Reade go under oath or take a polygraph? pic.twitter.com/aBXohhg14n— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) May 7, 2020
Credibility is often in the eye of the beholder. Reade seems largely credible, and she has much, much more evidence on her side than Ford ever did. But I'm still skeptical of her claims and wary of her evolving account.