ISSN 2330-717X

What If Biden, The Accused, Were A Priest? – OpEd

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If Joe Biden were a priest, he would have been removed from ministry pending a more thorough investigation. Instead, he is holed up in his basement talking to the media. Until May 1, no one from the media asked him one question about sexually assaulting Tara Reade. 

On April 29, the Free Beacon reported that in 19 interviews he granted over a 5-week period, he fielded 142 questions, but not one was about Reade. In fact, when Biden was interviewed on April 28, even though he teed it up for reporters by discussing domestic violence and challenges that women face, none asked him about his accuser. That changed when Biden was questioned by Mika Brzezinski on the MSNBC show, “Morning Joe.” 

Five people have corroborated at least some parts of Reade’s account. She says Biden, then a senator, digitally penetrated her against her will in 1993. She says she reported the assault to three of his staffers. She also filed a Senate complaint. What happened? She was subject to reprisal. She said her assignments were downgraded, and she was moved to an isolated workstation. She was also told she had 12 months to find another job.  

Biden denies the accusation. One way to find out who is telling the truth is to unearth the Biden documents that are sitting in the University of Delaware Library to see what Reade’s Senate complaint says (assuming it has not since miraculously disappeared). According to the Washington Post, there are 1,875 boxes, including 415 gigabytes of electronic records. We also need to see the police report she filed in early April of this year. 

Biden told Brzezinski that if there were a complaint made by Reade, it would be in the National Archives, not in the papers at the University of Delaware. He said he had no problem if a search were made of the files at the National Archives to see if a complaint by Reade can be found, but he balked when asked about opening up the papers at the University of Delaware. 

Brzezinski asked him why it would not be acceptable to simply do a search of Tara Reade’s name in the University of Delaware papers? He dodged the question on two occasions, refusing to give the okay. She also noted that the university papers were initially slated to be made public, but then that decision was reversed: it was decided to keep them under seal. Biden had no comment. 

On April 29, an editorial in the Washington Post called for an inventory of the papers at the University of Delaware, saying they “could contain confirmation of the complaint Ms. Reade made.” That needs to be done, especially in light of Biden’s refusal to ask the university to cooperate. 

For decades, critics of the Catholic Church have said that it has gone too easy on accused priests. They want to see every piece of paper in an accused priest’s personnel file. Furthermore, they demand that the name of every accused priest be posted on the website of his diocese. 

Joe Biden is not stepping down pending an investigation. Moreover, he refuses to ask the University of Delaware to release its secret files on him (they are being kept secret until he “retires from public life”), yet every journalist in the world insists that the Church should not be allowed to keep secret files on priests. And not only will Biden’s name not be posted on any website of the accused, no one will demand that it should be. 

Is Biden guilty of sexual assault? We do not know. Is there a way to find out? Certainly. But not until he is treated with half the scrutiny afforded accused priests, and not until we see the secret files at the University of Delaware.


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William Donohue

William Donohue

William Donohue is the current president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights in the United States, and has held that position since 1993.

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