A new development in the sexual-assault allegation against Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has brought new attention to his former Senate aide’s claims.
According to the Daily Caller News Foundation, another individual has come forward to corroborate Tara Reade’s account of an assault she claims occurred in 1993.
Biden has vehemently denied her accusations, which include kissing, touching, and even digital penetration without her consent.
“I didn’t ask for a name”
Although Reade’s credibility has taken a hit, particularly because of a report suggesting she misrepresented her academic background, an eighth person has now stepped forward to support the validity of her claims.
Joseph Backholm said that when he and Reade attended Seattle University’s law school together in the early 2000s, she told him a story in line with the account she has made publicly against the former vice president.
The DCNF reports that Backholm recalled sitting with her on a hotel patio during a conference. When the two were alone, he said she revealed her intention to advocate on behalf of domestic-violence victims.
“She said, ‘When I was in Washington, D.C. I was sexually assaulted by someone you would know,’ and that’s how she phrased it, ‘someone you would know’ and she didn’t give a name,” he said. “I didn’t ask for a name.”
Although Backholm’s comments could be dismissed as more hearsay in the ongoing scandal, the report notes that the two have not been in touch in some time and do not share the same political beliefs. Reade is reportedly a liberal while Backholm describes himself as conservative.
“A bully tactic”
He provided some context to his decision to come forward, asserting that Reade has been treated unfairly since making her allegations public.
“I don’t know what mistakes she’s made in her life,” Backholm said. “I’m sure she’s made some just like I have made some but I think the way she’s being treated in this environment is a bully tactic.”
Since he was “in a position to be able to, you know, stand with her and make sure she didn’t just get left out there flapping in the wind all by herself,” he said he took the opportunity to speak up.
As with any such scandal, it is impossible to know exactly who is telling the truth. With so many people on the record to corroborate multiple aspects of Reade’s story, however, it is simply not possible to dismiss her allegations entirely.