Over the years, several women have come forward with allegations against former Vice President Joe Biden of inappropriate physical attention. But until now, no one had credibly accused the Democratic presidential candidate of rape. [CAUTION: Some may find this story offensive.]
Alexandra Tara Reade was a young staffer for then-Senator Joe Biden in 1993 when she was asked to take a gym bag to the senator. She relayed to podcaster Katie Halper what happened next:
Reade: "We were alone, and it was the strangest thing. There was no, like, exchange really, he just had me up against the wall. It happened all at once, the gym bag – I don't know where it went. I handed it to him … it was gone … and then his hands were on me and underneath my clothes."
She says Biden continued to touch her until he passed the threshold of what the Justice Department defines as rape.*
In January, Reade took her story to the nonprofit TIME'S UP Legal Defense Fund, an organization that says it "supports the brave individuals who have come forward, at great risk to themselves, to seek the justice they deserve and to protect others from similar behavior." The Fund claims it "helps workers connect with lawyers and bring cases of workplace sexual harassment and related retaliation – regardless of industry, rank or role."
In 2018, TIME'S UP had gone hard after less-credible allegations against Brett Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court confirmation:
TIME'S UP: "Dear Judge Kavanaugh: We the people call on you to withdraw your nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States of America. We the people demand a Supreme Court justice without allegations of sexual assault. Your time, Judge Kavanaugh, is up."
But the organization declined to consider Reade's story, explaining it feared running afoul of IRS regulations governing nonprofits and politics.
Former trial attorney Richard Randall says he finds Reade's account credible. He also describes TIME'S UP as nothing but a partisan, political front for Democratic smear campaigns.
"You don't want it to be even. You don't want it to be fair – whether it's Judge Kavanaugh or somebody else," he accuses the nonprofit. "[But you decide that] if it's on this side of the aisle, on the other hand, we won't even bring it to anyone's attention."
TIME'S UP Legal Defense Fund is housed at and administered by the National Women's Law Center Fund, LLC.
* CAUTION: SOME MAY FIND THIS DESCRIPTION OFFENSIVE – The Justice Department definition of rape is: "The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim."