Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) on Tuesday said she supported Joe Biden following former Biden staffer Tara Reade’s allegations that the presidential candidate sexually assaulted her.
“I stand by [former] vice president Biden,” Gillibrand said during a conference call with reporters. “He’s devoted his life to supporting women and he has vehemently denied this allegation.”
Gillibrand in 2018 was one of the most vocal defenders of Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault during Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings. The New York senator argued that Ford should not be compelled to testify at the hearings without the benefit of witnesses and an investigation.
“Without the benefit of an FBI investigation … and without the benefit of corroborating witnesses being able to testify, it’s a sham [confirmation] hearing,” Gillibrand said at the time.
Reade in March accused Biden of sexually assaulting her in the spring of 1993, when she worked in his former Senate office. On Monday, a former neighbor of Reade’s told Business Insider that she described the assault in 1995. Reade has also said that her mother had made an anonymous call to CNN’s Larry King during an episode of Larry King Live to discuss the matter. A transcript of the call was obtained by The Intercept.
Biden’s presidential campaign has vehemently denied Reade’s allegations. Biden has yet to personally respond to the allegations, and did not address the issue directly during a virtual town hall on women’s issues on Tuesday with failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.