The San Luis Obispo Tribune has obtained a court document from 1996 that credibly mentions Tara Reade’s sexual harassment claims against then-Senator Joe Biden.
The document was written by Reade’s ex-husband Theodore Dronen as he contested a restraining order she placed on him after he filed for divorce. In the document, Dronen says that Reade told him about “a problem she was having at work regarding sexual harassment, in U.S. Senator Joe Biden’s office.”
Reade has accused Biden of sexually assaulting her in 1993 when she worked in his office, and Biden has denied the claims. A friend, neighbor, and her brother have all confirmed that Reade told them about problems with Biden, speaking about the assault specifically to some but more vaguely to others.
Reade’s mother, who died in 2016, also called a Larry King radio program in 1993 to ask for advice on how to handle her daughter’s “problems” with a prominent senator.
In the newly discovered document, Dronen said that Reade “eventually struck a deal with the chief of staff of the Senator’s office” regarding the harassment against her and that she then left her position.
“It was obvious that this event had a very traumatic effect on (Reade), and that she is still sensitive and effected (sic) by it today,” Dronen wrote, according to the Tribune.
The document provides the most specific evidence to date that Reade at the very least complained about being harassed by Biden, although it does not prove definitively that Biden did harass or assault her.
It also suggests that Biden’s chief of staff at the time was involved, even though Biden’s staffers at the time have all said they don’t remember any complaints from Reade.
There has been no record of Reade filing a complaint so far, but Biden has refused to look in his private records housed at the University of Delaware or allow them to be searched.
The allegations have been enough to put questions in many Democrat voters’ minds about Biden’s candidacy. A new poll showed that 25% of Democrats thought their party should have a nominee other than Biden, and 40% of Democrats under 40 thought he should be replaced.
Only 41% of voters in both parties thought Biden’s denial of the allegations was credible, according to the poll.
Speculation has grown that party leaders could replace Biden as the Democrat nominee before or during the DNC convention in August, but that doesn’t leave much time for the replacement nominee to gain support before the election in November.