The allegations by Tara Reade that Joe Biden sexually assaulted her when she worked for him has got more attention since two people came forward to confirm that she told them of the alleged assaults soon after they happened.
Generally one of the best (but far from perfect) indicators of veracity in historical claims) is whether they told anyone at the time. I believe Bill Clinton raped Juanita Broaddrick primarily because she told someone about it the afternoon it happened. She also told three others shortly afterwards.
Also Reade’s mother called in 30 or so years ago to a Larry King show asking for advice for her daughter who had a bad experience with a Senator she worked for. While we don’t know exactly what happened, we can conclude that something happened back then which Reade found extremely upsetting.
So on that basis I would have regarded Reade’s claims as more likely than that of Christine Blasey Ford vs Brett Kavanaugh as Ford told no one for 30 years. Note we have no way of knowing in absolute terms. The point I am making is you tend to place greater reliance on claims where there is contemporary verification.
In Biden’s defence there is no pattern of behaviour (in terms of alleged sexual assaults) as there has been with Clinton and Trump.
Overall though my conclusion was that it was more likely than not Biden did commit some sort of sexual assault due to what Reade said to people at the time.
So if I was ranking the probability that someone did commit sexual assault my rough order from most to least likely would have been:
- Weinstein/Cosby (convicted)
- Trump (20+ allegations, boasted on tape about it)
- Clinton (multiple allegations)
But I then read this article on Medium about Tara Reade and it really does raise huge issues around her credibility. Again no one knows the actual truth except Reade and Biden. There is no process for adjudicating in a court of law so we need to weigh up issues such as credibility of both Biden and Reade to make political judgement as this is about whether Biden is fit to be President.
After reading the Medium article I now would have Biden at around the same level of probability as Kavanaugh. Ford was a more credible accuser than Reade but Reade did tell people about what she alleges happened at the time.
What will US voters make of it? Who knows.