Former Vice President Joe Biden released a statement on Friday finally responding to the sexual assault allegations made by former Senate staffer Tara Reade.
Reade claims Biden sexually assaulted her in a hallway in 1993 and she had filed a complaint to the Senate office.
In the statement put out on Friday, Biden flatly denies the incident took place and called for the National Archives to release documents that will prove Reade did not file a complaint to his office:
"It’s on us, and it’s on me as someone who wants to lead this country. I recognize my responsibility to be a voice, an advocate, and a leader for the change in culture that has begun but is nowhere near finished. So I want to address allegations by a former staffer that I engaged in misconduct 27 years ago.
"They aren’t true. This never happened.
"While the details of these allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault are complicated, two things are not complicated. One is that women deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and when they step forward they should be heard, not silenced. The second is that their stories should be subject to appropriate inquiry and scrutiny.
"Responsible news organizations should examine and evaluate the full and growing record of inconsistencies in her story, which has changed repeatedly in both small and big ways."
Biden said the papers he donated to the University of Delaware relating to his time as a senator do not contain personnel files that would hold the complaint Reade said she filed. There have been calls for the University of Delaware to unseal the documents, which are supposed to be released to the public two years after Biden finally leaves public life.
"It is the practice of Senators to establish a library of personal papers that document their public record: speeches, policy proposals, positions taken, and the writing of bills," Biden explains. "There is only one place a complaint of this kind could be – the National Archives. The National Archives is where the records are kept at what was then called the Office of Fair Employment Practices. I am requesting that the Secretary of the Senate ask the Archives to identify any record of the complaint she alleges she filed and make available to the press any such document. If there was ever any such complaint, the record will be there."
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