Biden request to search for Reade complaint rejected by secretary of the Senate

Per Jennifer Franco:

The secretary of the Senate says her office “has no discretion” to comply with a request by former VP Joe Biden to order a search for an alleged complaint made by Tara Reade—the woman accusing Biden of sexual misconduct when he was a senator.

CBS News reports the secretary of the Senate has rejected Joe Biden’s request to search for a record of a complaint lodged against him by a former staff assistant, Tara Reade, who has accused the presumptive Democratic nominee of sexual assault.

After consulting the Senate legal counsel, the secretary of the Senate said that under the statute governing the Senate Fair Employment Practices, Biden’s request would be denied.

“Senate Legal Counsel advises that the Secretary has no discretion to disclose any such information as requested in Vice President Biden’s letter of May 1,” the secretary’s response said. The response cited the “strict confidentiality requirements” of the law, as well as “the Senate’s own direction that disclosure of Senate Records is not authorized if prohibited by law.” It is not yet clear whether Reade could request that her personnel records be released.

The Biden campaign, through attorney Bob Bauer, who is helping to lead the vetting of Biden’s running mates and who is the former White House counsel for President Obama, responded to the secretary to ask whether the mere existence of the records is “subject to the same prohibition on disclosure” and whether the records could be disclosed to “anyone, such as a complainant.” He also asked whether the Senate could release information about the way such complaints were taken in and processed in 1993.

Reade told CBS News that she and her daughter have been dealing with death threats in the last few days. She is communicating with law enforcement and says her priority at the moment is securing her safety and the safety of her daughter.

In the late March interview in which Reade first alleged that Biden had sexually assaulted her, she said she filed what she referred to “a form.”

“After the assault, I went outside, you know, the sphere of the office, for help,” she said on Katie Halper’s podcast. “And that’s when I sought out that little room that I filled out a form — it was just a form.” According to the Associated Press, which spoke to Reade on Friday, the “intake form” Reade filled out at the Senate personnel office “included her contact information, the office she worked for and some broad details of her issues with Biden.”

Reade told CBS News on Friday that she filed an “intake form” with the Senate personnel office detailing her issues with Biden.

The form, if it emerges, will not include her allegation that Biden sexually assaulted her, Reade told CBS News. She said she stopped short of describing the assault, but said the complaint details allegations of sexual harassment against Biden and workplace retaliation. Reade said she described Biden’s “inappropriate behavior” that made her “uncomfortable”, including how he wanted her to served drinks at a party because “he told people he liked my legs.”

Read more here.