Representative Hakeem Jeffries, the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said Wednesday that the sexual-assault allegation against Joe Biden must be “investigated seriously” and that Biden will likely have to address the claim directly.
“It’s got to be taken seriously because this is a serious allegation raised by a serious individual and needs to be investigated seriously. We’ve probably got to hear from him [Biden] at some point directly,” Jeffries said Wednesday on WNYC when asked about Tara Reade’s claim that Biden sexually assaulted her when she worked for him as a Senate staffer. “I’m not really in a position to say what is the appropriate mechanism, although this needs to be taken seriously.”
Reade alleges that in 1993, when she was a Senate staff assistant for Biden, she was told by a top staffer to bring Biden a duffel bag in a Senate building, and when she met with him he pinned her against a wall and penetrated her with his fingers while forcibly kissing her. In early April of last year, before he announced his run for the Democratic nomination, Reade alleged along with several other women that Biden had touched her inappropriately.
Several other top Democrats have stood by the presumptive Democratic nominee as he has denied the allegations, including House speaker Nancy Pelosi, New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, who is considered one of the contenders to be Biden’s running mate.
“He’s devoted his life to supporting women, and he has vehemently denied this allegation,” Gillibrand said.
“I’m satisfied with how he has responded. I know him. I was proud to endorse him on Monday,” Pelosi said.
“I know Joe Biden and I think he’s telling the truth and this did not happen,” Abrams said during a CNN appearance.
Biden will reportedly appear on MSNBC’s Morning Joe and address the allegations on Friday.