Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar says that she believes that former Vice President and Democrat presidential frontrunner Joe Biden sexually assaulted Tara Reade in 1993.
Reade alleges that Biden touched her, kissed her and penetrated her with his fingers without consent while she was working for the then-senator in Washington DC. “I do believe Reade,” Omar told the Times, a British newspaper, on Sunday.
“Justice can be delayed, but should never be denied,” the congresswoman added. She also said that if it were up to her, the Democratic party would nominate socialist Senator Bernie Sanders instead of Biden, who is the presumptive nominee.
Despite this, Omar says she will still support Biden because of how much she dislikes President Donald Trump. “I will vote for [Biden] and help him defeat Trump,” she said Monday, via Twitter.
Believing survivors is consistent with my values. Yes, I endorsed against Biden and I didn’t pick him as our nominee. With that said, in this interview I did on May 6th, we talked about that and quotes aren’t always in context. I will vote for him and help him defeat Trump.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) May 25, 2020
One of Omar’s closest progressive allies, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, says that she does not fully believe Reade. “There have been investigative journalists that have corroborated certain aspects of her account — that is undeniable — [and] have raised questions about other aspects of her account,” she told NPR earlier this month. This attitude of skepticism marks a sharp departure from the manner in which Cortez responded to sexual assault accusations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Even one year after Kavanaugh was appointed to the court after the Senate could not identify any reliable evidence that he assaulted Christine Blasey Ford, Cortez remained convinced of his guilt and called for his impeachment.
Many other major Democrats have also displayed a similar willingness to believe Ford but doubt Reade. In late April, every US Democrat from Minnesota appeared unwilling to consider Reade’s allegations, despite the fact that most of them were staunch supporters of Ford’s allegations against Kavanaugh.