Patterico's Pontifications


Friday Night Funnies: Wealthy White Guy Does The Pandemic Pout

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:17 pm

[guest post by Dana]


Don’t be this person.


Court Document Confirms Tara Reade Told Husband About Harassment In Biden’s Office

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:55 am

[guest post by Dana]

There have been a few interesting things that have come up involving Tara Reade’s allegations about Joe Biden. (See previous posts here and here.)

First, reporter Laura McGann, who began interviewing Tara Reade about her allegations against Joe Biden a year ago, documents in detail her involvement with Reade, including interviews and conversations surrounding her claims. McGann became concerned by the inconsistencies in Reade’s story. A concern shared by our host, as well as many of us here. The slow-trickle of added details not included in her former neighbor’s account, her brother’s account, and even in Reade’s original account, makes for a different story than the original story told by Reade. All of which has left McGann, a reporter digging for the complete story, mired in the miasma of uncertainty:

If Reade had told a consistent story and shared all of her corroborating sources with reporters, if those sources had told a consistent story, if the Union piece had shaken loose other cases like hers, or if there were “smoking gun” evidence in Biden’s papers, her account might have been reported on differently in mainstream media a year ago. It is not fair to an individual survivor that their claims require an extraordinary level of confirmation, but it’s what reporters have found is necessary for their stories to hold up to public scrutiny and successfully hold powerful men accountable. So we are here.

[Ed. Biden is refusing to open his senatorial archives for a search of Reade’s complaint.]

While many view Reade’s inconsistencies as problematic, she doesn’t see it that way:

“My story never changed. I just didn’t come forward with all the details. It’s really simple,” she said to me. “I held back this story because I was afraid of a powerful man.”

It’s safe to say that most women who find themselves in a situation where their abuser is a powerful, well–connected man, might react in a similar manner. There is nothing unreasonable about fearing retaliation from a powerful public figure who has the resources to ruin one’s life.

Yesterday, it was reported that a court document confirmed that Tara Reade had told yet another individual about being sexually harassed in Joe Biden’s office in 1993. This is a statement from Reade’s ex-husband Theodore Dronen in a document filed in 1996:

On several occasions Petitioner related a problem that she was having at work regarding sexual harassment in U.S. Senator Joe Biden’s office. Petitioner told me that she eventually struck a deal with the chief of staff of the Senator’s office and left her position…It was obvious that this event had a very traumatic effect on Petitioner, and that she is still sensitive and effected by it today.

It’s notable that this took place during a contentious divorce proceeding between Dronen and Reade, when she had filed a restraining order against Dronen after he filed for a divorce from her.

Finally, Reade, who has had no legal representation until this week, sat down for an interview with Megyn Kelly. If you recall, Reade reportedly backed out of an interview with Chris Wallace last weekend, citing security concerns. I’m not sure what has changed between now and then with regard to the alleged concerns, but Reade nonetheless met with Megyn Kelly in Northern California. What’s significant in this portion of the interview, is that Reade publicly says that she is willing to testify under oath, be cross-examined, and if Joe Biden took a polygraph test (which she thinks he should), she would take one too. Oh, and Reade also believes that Joe Biden should withdraw from the presidential race:

It’s unclear when or where the full interview will appear.

*This is how the AP opened their report about Reade obtaining legal representation (linked above):

Tara Reade, a former Senate staffer who alleged Joe Biden sexually assaulted her 27 years ago, is being represented by a prominent lawyer and political donor to President Donald Trump’s 2016 Republican campaign.

It isn’t until the eighth paragraph into the report that we find this:

Wigdor is well known for his work on prominent cases related to sexual harassment and assault. He represented six women who accused Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced Hollywood producer, of sexual misconduct. He has also represented a number of Fox News employees in cases alleging gender and racial discrimination at the network, including Juliette Huddy, one of the women who accused Bill O’Reilly of pursuing a sexual relationship with her and retaliating when she refused. In 2018, he spoke out in the media defending Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault.


Benjamin Wittes et al. on the Travesty of the DoJ’s Abandonment of the Flynn Case

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am

Susan Hennessey, Quinta Jurecic, and Benjamin Wittes have a great piece on the shameless hackery of Bill Barr’s torpedoing of the Flynn case, titled An Ugly Day for the Justice Department. Read it all, but this part is central to rebutting the government’s analysis:

[T]o take the view that the FBI had no reasonable investigative predicate for the Flynn case on Jan. 24, 2017, one has to believe that the following fact-pattern, considered in its entirety, provides no reasonably articulable basis for a counterintelligence concern:

  • A senior official with a TS/SCI (top secret/sensitive compartmented information) clearance working in the White House has ties to various Russian government entities.
  • He has traveled to Russia and taken large sums of money from a state-controlled Russian media outfit.
  • As the investigation of these matters was winding down, he had phone conversations with the Russian ambassador at a time when the United States had just imposed sanctions on Russia for interfering in the 2016 elections. In those conversations, he had asked that Russia to respond only in a measured fashion.
  • He subsequently lied to the vice president of the United States and other White House officials about the substance of those calls, causing the White House to issue inaccurate statements to the public.
  • The Russian government was aware of these lies, having participated in the phone calls, and the official was thus potentially subject to blackmail.

Yeah, I can’t see any problem there, can you? No counterintelligence issues at all!

The piece goes on to note the absurdity of the position that, under such circumstances (a clear justification for the interview), it’s totally fine and not illegal for this senior official to lie about the substance of the calls to federal investigators.

As the piece says, the notion that it was wrong for the FBI to continue the investigation after learning about the call means it’s wrong to continue an investigation when you learn new evidence. (Narrator: that is not actually wrong.)

As with the Roger Stone case, the lead prosecutor in this case, Brandon Van Grack, moved to withdraw from the case just before a dishonest defense-oriented brief was submitted by a party hack knowing nothing about the case (and demonstrating that in his factual recitation).

If you think the career prosecutor withdrew because he was a-skeered the judge would yell at him for all his awful Brady violations (that he didn’t actually commit) then I submit to you that you have been taken in my a truckload of partisan nonsense. I submit you have not read the judge’s decision that addresses the bogus Brady claims, even though I asked skeptics of the case to read it. If the judge wants to yell at Van Grack, he can still order him to appear and yell at him. (Heck, he can deny the request to withdraw if he wants. He can deny the government’s motion to dismiss, too!) What the judge is very likely to do, at a minimum — as the judge did in the Roger Stone case — is bring the party hack in and ask him a lot of very probing questions. Watch and see.

Because if you’ll recall, the whole point of having a Special Counsel was the need to insulate these investigations and prosecutions of cronies of the President from interference by a political appointee. I didn’t come up with that myself:

Robert Mueller closed his office too soon, I think, and now the troll Barr is seeking to upend all his work, first by misrepresenting the report, then by interfering in cases where the criminal President’s criminal buddies were charged. Does Barr care about justice, or “winning”? You be the judge, based on his own words:

The smirk on his face is really quite something.

Troll Barr

I agree entirely with Orin Kerr:

This is disgusting. Trump is the President of criminals. He hopes to bring back Flynn. Maybe he and the liar Flynn can march around and campaign with war criminal Eddie Gallagher. Let these criminals be the face of the Trump campaign. Let ’em. Might as well let people know exactly what they are voting for.

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