Last week, the founder of the #MeToo movement, Tarana Burke, declined to back Tara Reade, a former staffer for presumptive 2020 Democratic nominee Joe Biden, who says Biden sexually assaulted her when she worked in his Senate offices in the mid-1990s.
Now, “Time’s Up” the organization developed from the #MeToo movement and charged with providing financial and legal assistance to women who accuse high-powered men of sexual harassment and assault has declined to provide that assitance to Reade. Instead, it’s CEO, Tina Tchen, praised Biden for his “transparency.”
Tchen, of course, worked alongside Biden as a senior advisor to the Obama administration. She’s been active in a number of causes since leaving the White House, including Time’s Up, and even, last year, acted as a go-between, delivering messages from the family of Jussie Smollett, who was then accused of staging his own hate crime in Chicago, and the Cook County State’s Attorney, urging prosecutors to drop the case against Smollett or refer it to the FBI.
Reade sought help from Tchen and Time’s Up but was refused, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
“Formed during the #MeToo movement to help victims of sexual assault with legal fees and public relations, the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund declined to assist Reade in her case against Biden, claiming his presidential candidacy would threaten its nonprofit status,” the outlet reported. Experts dispute that excuse, per the WFB, noting that so long as the organization applied “neutral criteria” that “its non-profit status would not be threatened.
Tchen wasn’t asked about Time’s Up’s decision on MSNBC, but did show strong support for Biden.
“Biden has called for full transparency, he’s called for records to come out—that’s what needs to happen every time these issues come up, and I would suggest that it needs to happen with other candidates who are running for president,” Tchen said in an interview Friday.
Biden’s behavior is difficult to label as “transparent.” The candidate, Free Beacon notes, did at least eighteen interviews before being asked a single question about Reade’s claims and, until last Friday, refused to address the subject directly. The campaign referred any reporters raising questions about Reade’s allegations to a statement made earlier in April by Biden’s campaign director.
Tchen also insisted that the media did not employ a double standard when it declined to pursue the Reade’s allegations against Biden after doggedly pursuing every lead alleging sexual misconduct by Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. She said, instead, that the media has done its job investigating claims of sexual assault, and giving women a “forum” to raise their allegations.
“I think the media, throughout the movement for the last two years, I have to say, investigative journalism has done an incredible job in digging into claims and believing women and giving them at least a form in which their allegations can be heard and listened to and investigated,” she said.
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