Team of Lawyers Who Vetted Biden in ’08 Found No Sexual Assault Complaint

May 2, 2020 Updated: May 3, 2020

A team of lawyers commissioned by Barack Obama to investigate potential vice presidential candidates in 2008 turned up no hint of sexual assault allegations against then-Sen. Joe Biden.

Biden has been accused of sexual assault by Tara Reade, who worked for him in the 1990s.

He was thoroughly vetted in a process that “certainly would have turned up any formal complaints filed against Biden during his 36-year career in the Senate,” David Axelrod, a senior adviser to Obama who helped the president run his 2008 and 2012 campaigns, wrote in an op-ed.

“It did not. The team would have investigated any salacious rumors of the sort that travel far and wide in Washington. There were none.”

While Axelrod wasn’t involved directly with the vetting, he was briefed on their work.

“Through that entire process, the name Tara Reade never came up. No formal complaint. No informal chatter. Certainly, no intimation of sexual harassment or assault from her or anyone else. The team of investigators, expert in their work, would not have missed it,” he said.

If even one “credible issue” was raised during the search, Biden wouldn’t have been chosen as the running mate, Axelrod said.

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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama with senior campaign adviser David Axelrod in Charlotte, N.C. (Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)

William Jeffries, a lawyer, led the team that vetted Biden during the vice presidential search. They spent weeks looking through records and interviewing people about the possible running mate.

Reade’s name didn’t come up, and the team didn’t speak with her.

“This kind of complaint—not just Tara Reade, but any kind of complaint about Senator Biden on sexual harassment—never came up,” Jeffries told the Washington Post. “We just never had an occasion to interview anyone on an accusation like this because we found no such accusation.”

Patti Solis Doyle, another senior adviser to Obama’s campaign, said during an appearance on CNN that she would have been told if an allegation arose during the vetting.

“If anything like a sexual assault or a sexual allegation had come up, certainly, I would have been given the heads up on it,” said Doyle, who is now a CNN commentator, on May 2.

Reade hasn’t responded to requests for comment from The Epoch Times.

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