Women's groups have reportedly pressured former Vice President Joe Biden behind the scenes to directly address the sexual misconduct allegations made by his former Senate staffer Tara Reade.

The New York Times reported on Wednesday that multiple groups had drafted a letter that praised Biden's record on women's issues but also said the presumptive Democratic nominee has the "opportunity" to tackle the 1993 assault allegation Reade leveled when she came forward last month.

“Vice President Biden has the opportunity, right now, to model how to take serious allegations seriously. The weight of our expectations matches the magnitude of the office he seeks," the letter reportedly said.

Two weeks ago, however, the Biden campaign reportedly heard about the efforts being made by the women's groups, who "put the letter on hold" while advisers to the former vice president "push the candidate to make a statement himself before the end of April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month."

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“It’s difficult for survivors to see that a woman who has more corroborating sources than most survivors have in similar situations is being tossed aside and actively being weaponized by cynical political actors,”  UltraViolet advocacy group founder Shaunna Thomas told the Times, acknowledging her organization was involved in the letter. “It would be an incredible moment of leadership for Joe Biden to show up.”

UltraViolet did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.

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Women's groups have been notably silent in the weeks since Reade's allegations came to light.

Requests for comment from Fox News to the National Organization for Women, the Women’s March, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Emily’s List, Planned Parenthood for America and the American Association of University Women (AAUW) were not returned.

Such groups have been active in the #MeToo movement, particularly during the 2018 confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexual assault in the 80s by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who received outpouring support from the pro-women organizations.

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It has been over a month since Reade came forward with her sexual assault allegation yet Biden himself has not addressed the controversy despite appearing in over a dozen TV interviews since Reade's on March 25.

On Tuesday, Reade called for the release of Biden's Senate records she believes could further corroborate her claims but are currently sealed at the University of Delaware.

"I'm calling for the release of the documents being held by the University of Delaware that contain Biden's staff personnel records because I believe it will have my complaint form, as well as my separation letter and other documents," Reade told Fox News on Tuesday. "Maybe if other staffers that have tried to file complaints would come to light – why are they under seal? And why won't they be released to the public?"

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The Washington Post has now joined the call, urging Biden to finally address the allegations and to "release relevant records."

"Tara Reade deserves to be heard, and voters deserve to hear her. They deserve to hear from Joe Biden, too," the Washington Post editorial board wrote on Wednesday. "There are, at the moment, no clear conclusions. There may never be. But that is no excuse for not searching. One place to start is the records covering Mr. Biden’s 36-year Senate career, donated to the University of Delaware in 2012 and slated for release to the public two years after Mr. Biden 'retires from public life.'"

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Major developments have also arisen in recent days since Reade came forward in March that further corroborate her 1993 claims.

A "Larry King Live" clip from 1993 was unearthed on Friday that purportedly featured Reade's mother calling in to the show anonymously and alluding to her daughter's "problems" with a "prominent senator." Reade confirmed to Fox News it was her mother's voice on the call.

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On Monday, two more people — a former neighbor and a former colleague of Reade's — remembered conversations they had with her back in the 1990s. One remembered her account of the alleged assault, and another remembered her mentioning harassment but not assault.

Fox News' Adam Shaw contributed to this report. 

Source Link:
https://www.foxnews.com/politics/womens-groups-unreleased-letter-urging-biden-address-tara-reade-claims

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