WASHINGTON — Tara Reade says that White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was wrong to say that sexual misconduct claims against President Biden were “heavily litigated” already.
Psaki made the remark Wednesday at her daily press briefing in response to a question from The Post about whether women who accused Biden of misconduct deserve an independent investigation as was afforded to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s accusers.
In a viral tweet, Reade responded, “Ask Psaki: Did I miss the investigation and litigation? I sure did not miss the smears and attacks on my character during Joe Biden’s campaign as I came forward. Was it safe to come forward? I think not.”
Reade says Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993 when she worked for his Senate office. She tells The Post that “what’s boneheaded is Psaki using legal term of art, ‘heavily litigated’ … that is going to haunt them.”
She said the case was never litigated — and that she intends to make sure people know that. She also said she was upset to hear Psaki say that Biden believes in “women being respected and having their voices heard and being allowed to tell their stories.”
“That bulls–t Psaki said yesterday really got under my skin — when she said it’s safe for women to come forward… I’m a poster child for how that’s untrue,” Reade said.
Psaki was responding to a question from The Post about Reade’s assault allegation, the claims of women who objected to Biden’s unwanted touching and the reported repulsion of female Secret Service agents who said they had to watch Biden skinny-dip.
The president on Tuesday called on Cuomo (D-NY) to resign after a probe commissioned by New York Attorney General Letitia James found he harassed 11 women.
Biden has denied Reade’s allegation. But in 2019, he acknowledged making women feel uncomfortable and vowed to be “more mindful and respectful of people’s personal space.”
There’s some corroboration of Reade’s account, including from a former neighbor who says Reade told her of the alleged assault in 1995 or 1996. An unnamed friend told CNN that Reade confided the story in 1993 and there’s tape of a woman who appears to be Reade’s mother calling into “Larry King Live” in 1993 and sharing vague allegations of “problems” with a senator that were kept private “out of respect” for the politician.
Although broadly depicted as a liar by Democrats, who have questioned details in her resume such as her college credentials, Reade has been supported by some other prominent women who accused politicians of misconduct.
Cuomo accuser Lindsey Boylan tweeted last year of Reade’s claims of retaliation: “I’ve been a feminist all my life, and a significant part of that connects to my own experience of sexism, sexual harassment & assault. Failure of Democratic leadership to give all women, all people, the chance to be heard is incredibly damaging for the movement.”
Juanita Broaddrick, who says former President Bill Clinton raped her in 1978, tweeted Wednesday of Psaki’s remarks: “Hillary, when questioned about me would say my allegations had been adjudicated and litigated. Common answers. All lies.”
Reade’s claim against Biden is too old to go to trial in criminal court, though she still could sue him in civil court.
“The term litigated is referring to legal action — none of that happened to the other seven women or myself,” Reade told The Post, referring to the women who accused Biden of unwanted touching. “That misleads the public.”
Reade claims that she will sue the president if he makes what she considers defamatory remarks. Denying an allegation can sometimes be considered defamatory, but Reade said that she won’t sue unless she’s confident that she can win.
“Defamation is one of the most difficult lawsuits to bring forward… and you could be responsible for fines and things like that,” Reade said.
“If he were to say something that horrible, I’m sure I would consult an attorney and see if there was enough to go forward.”
Reade said that she considers a congressional investigation more likely. But she says she’s upset by the lack of support from the left-wing “Squad” including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Cori Bush (D-Mo.).
Bush, who formerly was homeless, gained notoriety this week by camping out on the Capitol steps to pressure Biden to extend a COVID-19 eviction moratorium, which he ultimately did.
Reade said the progressive congresswomen “have layers of staff” making it hard to reach them and that she’s upset many other Democrats have “class shamed” her by focusing on her financial woes.
“It was really shocking how they class shamed me because I wasn’t wealthy… All the things [Cori Bush] went through were similar to things I went through, and they used that to shame me,” Reade said.