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DNC Chairman Likens Tara Reade Allegations to Clinton Emails ‘Because There Was Nothing There’

DNC chair Tom Perez addresses attendees before the start of the second night of the second U.S. 2020 presidential Democratic candidates debate in Detroit, Mich., July 31, 2019. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez dismissed calls to search Joe Biden’s archives for Tara Reade’s sexual-assault accusation, telling ABC’s Martha Raddatz that “this is like the Hillary emails, because there was nothing there.”

Appearing on ABC’s This Week, Perez defended Biden’s innocence and his handling of the accusation, saying that Biden had already been thoroughly vetted by Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential race.

“They looked at the entire history of Joe Biden, his entire career. And I’ll tell you, if Barack Obama had any indication that there was an issue, Barack Obama would not have had him as his vice-president,” Perez argued. “Barack Obama trusted Joe Biden. I trust Joe Biden. And those investigations have been done.”

Biden publicly denied Reade’s allegations for the first time last week, after the former Senate staffer said in March that Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993, and that she filed a complaint after the fact. The former vice president also denied that his Senate archive at the University of Delaware, which is closed to the public, would contain Reade’s document.

“There is only one place a complaint of this kind could be: the National Archives,” Biden said. “If there was ever any such complaint, the record will be there.” But the National Archives has said it does not have personal records, and directed the search back to the Senate. Reade told the Associated Press last week that the report she filed with a congressional personnel office after the incident did not explicitly mention that Biden had sexual assaulted her.

In March, a federal judge ordered Hillary Clinton to appear in a sworn deposition regarding her use of a private email account while serving as secretary of state, especially regarding the to the 2012 attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Clinton has defended her reading of classified government emails on an unsecured private server as a matter of convenience, and in July 2016 the FBI recommended charging Clinton with a crime, only to announce in October of that same year that it would reopen the probe.

“To argue that the Court now has enough information to determine whether State conducted an adequate search is preposterous,” U.S. District Court judge Royce Lamberth wrote in his ruling. “Even years after the FBI investigation, the slow trickle of new emails has yet to be explained . . . Why did she think that using a private server to conduct State Department business was permissible under the law in the first place?”

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