Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) believes Tara Reade’s sex-assault claim against former Vice President Joe Biden and said if it were her decision, Biden would not become the Democrats’ nominee for president.
Omar, in an interview with the British Sunday Times said, “I do believe Reade.” she added “Justice can be delayed but should never be denied.” Biden has vigorously denied the charges Reade has made against him.
Omar, who won the DFL endorsement on Sunday with 65% of the party vote, tweeted on Monday that, “believing survivors is consistent with my values,” however she admitted she intends to still vote for Biden in an effort to defeat President Donald Trump.
Omar had campaigned for and endorsed Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Biden’s rival who suspended his campaign and is fully supportive of Biden.
During a recent MSNBC interview, Biden, who has been under pressure dealing with the repercussions from the “believe all women” era, precipitated by the #MeToo movement, said for those who believe Tara Reade’s allegation, “ probably shouldn’t vote for me.”
“Well, I think they should vote their heart and if they believe Tara Reade, they probably shouldn’t vote for me. I wouldn’t vote for me if I believed Tara Reade,” Biden said. “Look at Tara Reade’s story. It changes considerably. And, I don’t want to question her motive, I don’t want to question anything other than to say the truth matters. This is being vetted, it’s been vetted, and people, scores of my employees over my whole career. This is just totally, thoroughly, completely out of character. And, the idea that in a public place, in a hallway, I would assault a woman? I mean, it’s just—I—anyway, I promise you. It never happened,” reported Fox News.
Reade’s lawyer Douglas Wigdor is no longer representing Reade, on Friday he dropped out, but said his decision was “by no means a reflection on whether then-Senator Biden sexually assaulted Ms. Reade.”
Wigdor has not revealed his reasons for leaving the case but was critical of the way media handled it. “Much of what has been written about Ms. Reade is not probative of whether then-Senator Biden sexually assaulted her, but rather is intended to victim-shame and attack her credibility on unrelated and irrelevant matters,” Wigdor’s statement continued. “We have and will continue to represent survivors regardless of their alleged predator’s status or politics.”
Reade has been criticized for calling herself a “domestic violence expert” when she testified as a government witness in Monterey County, California Court cases. “What’s your experience specifically with respect to domestic violence?” Monterey County Deputy District Attorney Robin Duffy asked Reade during a trial in California early last year, according to a transcript of the testimony, reports the ABC News.
“Well,” Reade replied, “I worked originally for former U.S. Senator Joseph Biden as a legislative aide. He worked on the Violence Against Women Act,” according to ABC News, Reade’s said about her university degree are under investigation. “Defense attorneys are reportedly now trying to determine if the transcripts show she provided false testimony about her credentials,” ABC News reported.
The Times is also looking into Reade’s credentials. “On Thursday in California, lawyers who had faced off against her in court began raising questions about the legitimacy of her testimony, and the verdicts that followed, after news reports that Antioch University had disputed her claim of receiving a bachelor’s degree from its Seattle campus,” the Times reported.