‘If Barack Obama had any indication that there was an issue, Barack Obama would not have had him as his vice president…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, defended the group’s decision not to look into the sexual-assault accusation against presidential candidate Joe Biden, arguing that it was just as “absurd” as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 2016 email scandal.
Biden, the party’s presumptive nominee to challenge President Donald Trump, has been accused of sexual assault by one of his former congressional staffers, Tara Reade.
“This is like the Hillary emails, because there was nothing there,” Perez told ABC News.
An investigation by the State Department into Clinton’s use of a private email server determined that she had jeopardized national security by mishandling classified information. The probe, which officially ended in January, found 91 instances in which 38 State officials had acted negligently.
Although that investigation was limited to examining only the actions of its own department and offering recommendations, at least one judge ruled recently that Clinton may be compelled to provide sworn testimony in a separate lawsuit from Judicial Watch.
Democrats have long claimed that Clinton’s deletion of some 30,000 emails that were, at the time, under congressional subpoena—along with the destruction of government-issued BlackBerry devices—did not constitute any wrongdoing.
However, an FBI investigation reluctantly acknowledged that some of the classified emails were found on the laptop of convicted pedophile sex-offender Anthony Weiner, a former New York congressman who was married at the time to Clinton’s personal assistant, Huma Abedin.
The latest comments from Perez came in response to a New York Times editorial. It called upon the DNC create an investigative panel—before the the party holds its national convention—in order to look into Reade’s allegation that Biden cornered and digitally penetrated her, then later fired her in retaliation for shunning his advances.
At least four independent sources have corroborated her account, saying Reade had openly confided in them about the 1993 assault since around the time it occurred.
Perez slammed the Times editorial as “absurd,” and claimed Biden is “an open book.”
“I trust Joe Biden,” he said. “An those investigations have been done.”
Perez also claimed, without evidence, that an “exhaustive” review already had already taken place back in 2008, when Biden ran with former President Barack Obama, Perez claimed.
“The most comprehensive investigation of the vice president was when he was vetted by Barack Obama in 2008,” Perez said.
“I’m very familiar with vice presidential vetting process,” he continued. “They look at everything about you. They looked at the entire history of Joe Biden, his entire career, and I will tell you, if Barack Obama had any indication that there was an issue, Barack Obama would not have had him as his vice president.”
“They looked at the entire history of Joe Biden … Barack Obama trusted Joe Biden, I trust Joe Biden,” DNC Chairman Tom Perez tells @marthaRaddatz when asked why the DNC won’t convene an independent panel.
Joe Biden denied the sexual assault allegation. https://t.co/IKnZgw8Pyn pic.twitter.com/UwYJZ1F1Q0
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) May 3, 2020
In addition to the rape scandal, Biden has been the subject of other serious concerns—among them, his corrupt family business dealings, his inappropriate physical contact with many other women and young girls, and his colorful history of embarrassing gaffes, flubs and outright lies.
Trump suggested recently that Obama’s longtime hesitancy to endorse his former second-in-command offered strong evidence that he knew something about Biden that had not yet surfaced publicly, perhaps indicating some sort of leverage arrangement.
President Trump on @BernieSanders: “He didn’t really drop out. What about his delegates? I mean, he said he’s going to keep his delegates. That’s a weird deal… I don’t know why President Obama hasn’t supported @JoeBiden a long time ago, there’s something he feels is wrong…” pic.twitter.com/uwRcwZY1vV
— CSPAN (@cspan) April 8, 2020
Even though Obama eventually offered his support for Biden, his reserved praise hardly seemed like a full-throated endorsement.
Perez’s former DNC deputy, Keith Ellison, faced a similar scandal during his 2018 bid to become Minnesota attorney general. Although Democrats claimed to launch an investigation into Ellison, the half-hearted effort raised more questions than answers. Nonetheless, Ellison won the election.