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Thu Apr 30, 2020, 11:17 AM

Question about instances where someone accuses a high-profile person of a long ago sexual assault:

Note: I have to be very careful about how I go about phrasing this because I don't want to be insensitive about people who were legitimately sexually assaulted but did not report their attack immediately. It's a real problem and I'm not saying that it doesn't happen. However, it should not stop us from asking questions that might deserve to be asked.

On the surface, Tara Reade, Juanita Broaddrick and Christine Blasey-Ford appear to be all similarly situated. All three have alleged that decades ago, they were sexually assaulted by a high-profile political figure. None of them reported these alleged assaults when they claim them to have occurred. None of them have any physical evidence to prove that the attacks occurred. None of them have any witnesses who can contemporaneously verify the alleged attacks as it happened, although all three of them claim to have told people about their alleged attacks at some point after they claimed them to have occurred.

I'll cut right to the chase: I find Blasey-Ford's allegations far more credible than I do either Reade's or Broaddrick's.

And I know the instant response a skeptic might give me: Oh course you do. It's all about politics, right? You're a Democrat, Reade and Broaddrick accused high profile Democratic politicians, whereas Blasey-Ford accused a Republican-nominated conservative Supreme Court justice.

And yes, that's not an irrational response at all. Cognitive dissonance due to one's own biases and ideologies is a very real thing. And certain times you are faced with a reckoning where you are forced to put all your personal beliefs aside and weigh matters on the objective, cold hard facts. I remember when the story of John Edwards fathering a child out of wedlock first broke. I didn't want to believe it at first, but the facts fell where they did and I was forced to admit them as true.

But even still, political bias aside, I find Blasey-Ford's allegations far more credible than I do either Reade's or Broaddrick's.

So why? The answer's simple.

Sworn testimony.

Christine Blasey-Ford was willing to go to Capitol Hill, raise her hand, take an oath under penalty of perjury and give her account where she alleged that when she was a teenager, a person she believes was Brett Kavanaugh attempted to have sex with her against her will. On live television, we were able to judge her testimony, her body language, her recollection, her response to skeptical questioning, everything. And in the end, I found she made a convincing witness that suggested sincerity and credibility.

Now, would her sworn testimony alone be enough to convict Kavanaugh beyond a reasonable doubt if it were a criminal trial? I can't honestly say. But I can honestly tell you it was credible enough to raise enough questions about Kavanaugh's personal fitness for the Supreme Court to the point where he shouldn't have been confirmed. And you don't need a criminal standard of burden of proof for that.

So Christine Blasey-Ford testified to her attack under oath; Tara Reade and Juanita Broaddrick to date have not. The chances seem increasingly unlikely that Reade ever will; when she recently filed a police report as to her alleged attack, she did not even identify her supposed assailant, which made the chances of her filing a false report far less likely.

Broaddrick's situation is even worse. She actually has offered sworn testimony about the allegations that Bill Clinton raped her; unfortunately though for those wanting to believe her as credible, it was an affidavit denying any such attack on her by Clinton. Now, she since has claimed she was merely pressured into filing that affidavit and that her unsworn claims are in fact the true story. However, at no point in the 20 plus years that she has publicly lodged these allegations has she ever recanted under oath her sworn testimony or offered new sworn testimony that she was, in fact, sexually assaulted by Clinton.

(And I will add that matters of credibility aside, Broaddick's public persona is just rather vile. A quick review of her activity on Twitter reveals her to be highly partisan when it comes to matters of accusations of sexual misconduct against political figures. Not only has she doubted people like Blasey-Ford--which is well within her right to do so--but she has cruelly and childishly mocked their physical appearances, called them terrible names, etc., apparently because they have accused a figure on the political right. Meanwhile, she freely boasts of her love, undying loyalty and personal connections to Donald Trump, a man who on videotape once bragged about kissing women against their will and desiring to "grab them by the pussy," and a man she was happy to sit next to at a political stunt right after those comments came to light.)

Now, am I saying anyone who makes an allegation under oath is automatically telling the truth? Certainly not. Many people have perjured themselves over the years.

Am I saying that anyone who does not swear to their sexual assault under oath is automatically fabricating their claim? Again, absolutely not.

But I do think in situations where it may be the only evidence there is, where there is no physical or eyewitness testimony to the alleged attack, sworn testimony over unsworn allegations goes a long way in considering credibility. It's not the end-all, be-all, but at least it gives us something to consider, something to put our minds around.

And sworn testimony also is a way I use to supersede personal biases. I mean, I loved Bill Cosby. I hated the idea that he might have actually been a sexual predator when all we knew him as was a funny comedian and actor and lovable, avuncular celebrity. But after reading the sworn testimony of his accusers, and his own sworn testimony, I was forced to come to the sobering conclusion that the allegations against him were most likely true.

On the other hand, I have given pause whether or not to believe accusers of Donald Trump who have not put their allegations under oath. Even though I certainly think--given his own comments and behavior--that he might be capable of such things, and my own personal animus against him for all that he has done, on a case-by-case basis I'm not ready to make a judgment without something more concrete than just unsworn claims.

So I guess my question for everyone to comment on is this:

When it comes to allegations of sexual assault (especially against high profile individuals), allegations that are years ago in the past and have no physical evidence or eyewitness testimony to back them up, should someone who is willing to go under oath as to these claims be given more credibility than those who refuse to do so?

I'll leave it up for you to debate and consider.

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Reply Question about instances where someone accuses a high-profile person of a long ago sexual assault: (Original post)
Tommy_Carcetti Apr 2020 OP
Tommy_Carcetti Apr 2020 #1
Marrah_Goodman Apr 2020 #2
Tommy_Carcetti May 2020 #17
Ms. Toad Apr 2020 #3
Tommy_Carcetti Apr 2020 #4
Ms. Toad Apr 2020 #5
Tommy_Carcetti Apr 2020 #6
Ms. Toad Apr 2020 #7
Tommy_Carcetti Apr 2020 #8
Ms. Toad Apr 2020 #9
Tommy_Carcetti Apr 2020 #10
Ms. Toad Apr 2020 #11
Tommy_Carcetti Apr 2020 #12
Ms. Toad Apr 2020 #14
Tommy_Carcetti May 2020 #15
moriah May 2020 #20
Retrograde Apr 2020 #13
Tommy_Carcetti May 2020 #16
JHB May 2020 #18
Tommy_Carcetti May 2020 #19

Response to Tommy_Carcetti (Original post)

Thu Apr 30, 2020, 12:26 PM

1. Kick. nt

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Response to Tommy_Carcetti (Original post)

Thu Apr 30, 2020, 12:40 PM

2. If I were to be completely honest, I just don't know

People do lie under oath. I think you have to look at the motivation behind why they are coming forward. Even then, as a sexual assault survivor, it is really hard to know who is telling the truth. This is especially true when the accused is someone in power.

There are only two people who truly know if there are no witnesses or evidence. I don't know if Reade is telling the truth or not.

What I do know is that Trump is a fucking monster and needs to go. There is plenty of evidence of THAT.

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Response to Marrah_Goodman (Reply #2)

Fri May 1, 2020, 11:11 AM

17. It's far more common for people to lie under oath for defensive purposes, not offensive purposes.

They lie under oath because they fear whatever consequences revealing what the truth is more than they fear the potential of being caught lying and facing possible penalties for perjury.

Very rare is that people go under oath and lie for the express purposes of hurting another person. That's a much riskier proposition and the upside is far less.

The other options--simply lying in more casual situations, such as to right wing broadcasters as Broaddrick has--are far more enticing and serve the same outcome by amplifying the message without the threat of perjury. Worst case scenario is that they get civilly sued for defamation, but if the person's a public figure, it's a very high standard necessary to hold the person liable.

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Response to Tommy_Carcetti (Original post)

Thu Apr 30, 2020, 12:47 PM

3. I appreciate the careful consideration of the allegation and issues involved.

But I think you are putting too much emphasis on an oath making one more likely to tell the truth.

From my perspective, people who are willing to lie will not be dissuaded from lying by an oath. Similarly, people who tell the truth are going to tell the truth, regardless of an oath. (This is coming from a Quaker, who does not take oaths - including when testifying - because of the suggestion that somehow it's just fine to lie except when under oath.)

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #3)

Thu Apr 30, 2020, 12:56 PM

4. Don't get me wrong. People do lie under oath all the time.

However, I am thinking that if you consider any sort of false statement, and then compare the chances it is made under oath and penalty of perjury versus it being made without any sort of penalty, it is far more likely to occur in the latter circumstance than the former circumstance. So penalizing perjury doesn't stop people from lying under oath, but in all likelihood it highly reduces such things from happening.

It's like laws against murder.

Murder happens all the time. But there would certainly be more unjustified killing of people if there were no laws against murder at all.

And one's behavior and demeanor while testifying under oath is frequently far more telling than in an open situation. So it helps to have that for consideration of weighing credibility. That's what helped with Christine Blasey Ford, who I didn't make any judgments on her credibility positive or negative until I saw her testify.

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Response to Tommy_Carcetti (Reply #4)

Thu Apr 30, 2020, 01:08 PM

5. That's the premise I reject.

That an oath makes a difference in one's inherent attitude toward telling the truth.

As to murder - there are two broad categories of crimes: Those that are morally wrong (that moral people would not commit regardless of the laws - murder, theft, etc.) and those that are wrong because we declare them by law to be wrong (failing to file a tax return, speeding, etc.)

I would agree with your assessment as to the latter category - because there is nothing inherently immoral in driving above a certain speed (for example), but not the former - because most people have a reasonable moral compass that would prevent them from killing others (aside from situations like self-defense) or stealing from others. In the former category, the laws merely encapsulate those standards most of us inherently follow - and are are only intended to be a deterrent (or a means to separate from society) those who have lost their moral compass.

On a side note - I find it very surprising the number of individuals who identify as Christian who believe that if churches suddenly vanished there would be mass lawlessness. They really seem to think that it is this voluntary submission via weekly church services to a God-enforcer that prevents people from raping, murdering, etc. It's pretty scary if they believe that of themselves, and shows a serious lack of logical thinking if they think their fello church-goers would behave that differently from them (since obviously churches vanishing would have no impact on the behavior of non-church-goers.)

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #5)

Thu Apr 30, 2020, 01:17 PM

6. But should a person who willingly refuses to go under oath be viewed more skeptically?

For over twenty years, Juanita Broaddrick has openly refused to go under oath to either claim that a) Bill Clinton did sexually assault her or b) she was coerced into testifying earlier that Bill Clinton did not sexually assault her.

She has had ample opportunity during that long time to do so--in fact she once filed a open records lawsuit against the Clinton administration alleging they were hiding evidence against the alleged assault, but then refused to prosecute her case or offer herself up for deposition.

To me, that suggests a willingness to lie or at least distort the truth--that where there are little or no legal consequences, one can say what they want, but if forced into a corner where there may be repercussions for lying, they shy away.

For all we know, Christine Blasey Ford could have lied under oath in her testimony to Congress. (I never said I thought what she said was the definite truth, only that I found her testimony credible) But at the very least, she allowed us the opportunity to consider her credibility.

Reade and Broaddrick don't seem to want that.

To be fair, Reade's allegations are in their infancy. So perhaps she might decide to go under oath after all. And if that happens, we can try to objectively and without bias judge her credibility for what it's worth.

But there's no excuse for Broaddrick.

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Response to Tommy_Carcetti (Reply #6)

Thu Apr 30, 2020, 01:57 PM

7. As I noted - I "willingly refuse to go under oath,"

Even when I testify, as i have at least 3 times. I do so based on the principle that I speak the truth - to the best of my ability - whenever I speak. There is nothing special about speaking in court v. any other time. To assert that this one and only time I'm telling the truth - but you should be suspicious any other time I speak - is offensive, and suggests a hypocritical approach to integrity, which is a core principle of my faith.

An unwillingness to go under oath is not synonymous with a willingness to lie. In my case, it is the exact opposite - I'm unwilling to imply that every other time I speak I might be lying.

I don't have specific knowledge of Broaddrick's view of the truth, but willingness to go under oath plays no role in whether I believe someone.

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #7)

Thu Apr 30, 2020, 02:00 PM

8. But you have a religious belief system that factors into your decision.

As far as I know, neither Reade nor Broaddrick are Quakers or Jehovah's Witnesses or hold to any other ideology that forbids them from taking oaths.

So what of that situation?

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Response to Tommy_Carcetti (Reply #8)

Thu Apr 30, 2020, 02:11 PM

9. I don't hold others to a different standard than I hold myself.

My assumption is that people are telling the truth when they speak, regardless of whehter they are under oath - and that an oath does not make someone more likely to tell the truth than they would be in any other circumstance.

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #9)

Thu Apr 30, 2020, 04:06 PM

10. Again, I'm not casting any aspersions on your own personal standards. But...

...what we are talking about goes far beyond just you and into human nature in general.

People tell the truth. They also lie. Perhaps like you, I'm also the eternal optimist and want to believe that people are generally telling the truth about things. Or if they are lying, it usually is only about innocent or non-consequential things.

But they do still lie. And it's not always innocent lying either.

And that's where creating legal repercussions for lying in formal situations does make a difference in how people act.

Let's consider the act of perjury for a minute. I would venture to say the vast majority of perjury situations involve what is called "defensive lying." That is, they lie at risk of perjury because they are afraid that if they are truthful, what would be revealed would be much more harmful to them than the risk of being caught lying. In other words, they lie to protect themselves and their reputations or their legal well-being.

What is far, far more rare in perjury situations is "offensive lying." That is, they are not lying simply to protect themselves, but rather to maliciously hurt someone else.

And a lie to the effect of falsely accusing someone of sexual misconduct is one of the most egregious lies there is. (In the world of civil litigation, it's commonly referred to as "defamation per se." )

So in a situation where someone seeks to maliciously engage in offensive lying, if it is outside the scope of sworn testimony, they might feel more emboldened to do so. After all, they wouldn't be putting their liberty at risk; at worst they might be subjected to some civil litigation for defamation, but if the subject being defamed is a public figure, the standard of proof for liability is extremely high.

But if they are in an environment where they are being subjected to the laws of perjury, there's huge risk and little upside to engaging in offensive lying. Unlike defensive lying under oath, which is a weighing of risks and rewards and simply hoping that they a) won't get caught in a lie and b) their lie is believed, thus absolving them of whatever they are hiding, offensive lying you would have to be so blinded by vindictiveness against another person to put aside the legal risks they are engaging in.

So let's bring it back to the story at hand.

Right now, Tara Reade and Juanita Broaddrick have both accused two prominent political figures--Joe Biden and Bill Clinton, respectively--of sexual assault decades ago, where there is neither physical evidence nor eyewitness testimony to support those claims. If they are in fact not being truthful about those claims, there is still little risk to engaging in their lies. The mere publicity their stories receive serve to damage the reputation of the people they would be maligning, and its unlikely given the legal standard that Biden or Clinton would want to spend years tied in court on a defamation claim that might be hard to prove.

But for Christine Blasey-Ford (who otherwise would be in the same situation as Reade and Broaddrick) to be lying, it would be much different. Once she raised her hand in front of the Senate, she was locked into the threat of legal prosecution if she was not telling the truth. She would have to have some sort of overwhelming reason to attack Brett Kavanaugh's reputation to the point where it overrode her fears of prosecution for perjury. Personally from her testimony I didn't see any real reason or motive for her to defame Kavanaugh emerge. So at the very least, there was a sense of sincerity of her belief in her testimony, that at the very least, she believed she was telling the truth.

So it's not just about having a personal belief that most people are telling you the truth unless you have cause to think otherwise. Legal penalties are indeed a game changer in these situations, and if one acts to avoid a situation that would subject them to these legal penalties, it is valid cause to question their credibility.

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Response to Tommy_Carcetti (Reply #10)

Thu Apr 30, 2020, 04:30 PM

11. I didn't assert that people dont' lie.

What I said was that whether they are under oath or makes absolutely no difference as to whether I believe them.

If someone is inclined to lie, they will lie just as easily under oath as not. If they are already doing something vile - like accusing someone of doing something they didn't do - which often carries its own threat of monetary or other penalties - they are going to continue to lie under oath. Especially when there is no other evidence, the threat of any punishment being imposed is really miniscule. And if you are viscious enough to falsely accuse someone of a crime (especially a public person), you're already extremely invested in continuing the lie. Accusing a public person of sexual assault already carries a burden much heavier than the penalty for perjury. Ask Christine Blasey Ford, who had her life turned upsided down, was doxxed within an inch of her life, threatened, and forced to move.

You asked me whether being under oath made someone more believable - and I've said in a number of different ways that it makes no difference to me. You're free to have a different opinion, but explaining why you have a different opinion isn't going to convince me to change how I view the reliability of a statement made under oath v. one not under oath - a view I've had for more than 5 decades.

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #11)

Thu Apr 30, 2020, 05:12 PM

12. But how then do you explain someone like Juanita Broaddrick?

She's basically Schrodinger's Cat here--either she was sexually assaulted by Bill Clinton back in 1978, or she wasn't.

She has no physical evidence to support her claims. There's no eyewitnesses who have came forward and said they saw it happen. But as we both can agree, that alone doesn't mean it didn't happened.

So instead, we have her word. Except which is it--her sworn word or her unsworn word?

During the midst of the Starr investigation, and amongst vague rumors that she might know something about inappropriate sexual behavior on Bill Clinton's part, she issues a sworn affidavit, stating affirmatively (under penalty of perjury) that she neither had a consensual relationship with Clinton nor did Clinton ever sexually assault her.

Several months later, she starts saying the opposite to the press, now claiming that she was sexually assaulted by Clinton in 1978.

Mind you, for years already there had developed a cottage industry of sorts accusing both Bill and Hillary Clinton of all sorts of dastardly things, up to and including actual murder. And we know that cottage industry continues to thrive up to this very day.

So the notion that Bill Clinton could somehow be a rapist has itself a receptive audience and someone like Broaddrick making these claims has something of a support system in this community. And thus she gets booked on right wing radio, and on Sean Hannity, and when the Access Hollywood tapes came out, nobody less than Donald Trump himself trots her out by his side in an effort to deflect criticism.

That doesn't erase her sworn testimony though that it didn't happen. And if she was sincere in her unsworn allegations to the press that she was raped, wouldn't for the sake of consistency she then retract her old affidavit under the claim she was coerced into making it (as she now claims)? She filed the open records lawsuit against the Clinton administration claiming they were hiding evidence about the supposed assault, but when it came clear that her participation in the lawsuit would require sworn testimony from her, she chose to abandon it.

What happened to Christine Blasey Ford was a terrible thing. But Juanita Broaddrick hasn't suffered remotely the same outcome. In fact, we've been told even by some on the left we might need to consider her allegations, that we dismissed them out of some sense of cognitive dissonance on our parts.

And to me, that only speaks to the overwhelming contrast between the two women, despite the fact that they superficially seem to be telling similar stories.

I am sure Blasey-Ford probably knew her life would be turned upside down if she testified before Congress. She also knew she'd ever word of hers would be scrutinized for the purposes of perjury. She still chose to do what she did, and I think that speaks towards her sincerity in what she claimed. For if you claim something to be true, and you know telling the truth might upend your life but you value telling the truth over the inevitable fallout, more likely than not you are sincere in what you say is true.

Meanwhile, Broaddrick chose not to subject her scandalous allegations to perjury, and more or less enjoys the relative safety of the Twitterverse (where she herself attacks people like Blasey-Ford) and the right wing media echo chamber that gives her affirmation, up to and including from Donald Trump himself.

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Response to Tommy_Carcetti (Reply #12)

Thu Apr 30, 2020, 08:35 PM

14. I don't distinguish between sworn statements or unsworn statements.

In evaluating whether I believe a statement that factor does not play a role in my assessment (no matter how you try to make it matter). It is ironic that you are focusing on Juanita Broaddrick to suggest that her sworn statement in connection with Clinton should be believed. Wasn't it Bill Clinton who swore, under oath, that he did not have sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky? Being under oath certainly did not deter him from lying.

To the extent anyone makes inconsistent statements obviously one is true and the other not (or one is incomplete, and the other complete - or more complete). I'm going to evaluate the statements on their merit, considering all the evidence, not on whether they were sworn or not.

How do you know Juanita Broaddrick or Tara Reade hasn't suffered by coming forward? You don't have to be hounded into hiding and require security guards to pay a significant price for publicly coming forward - and not every person who suffers as a result of making an accusation of rape or sexual assault shares that impact on their life with the public. Tara Reade is certainly being tarred and feathered on DU (as is anyone who says anything other than that she's a flat out liar), and I've seen a fair amount of if elsewhere too.

I spent a decade of my life helping victims of rape become survivors - I don't know any whose lives weren't upended if they chose to make their accusation of rape pubic. And the impact on their lives was pretty much directly proportional to the importance of/potential impact on the man accused.

FWIW, Blasey Ford's life was turned upside down - not by testifying under oath, but by publicly making the accusation. And the way you describe it makes my point for me:

if you claim something to be true, and you know telling the truth might upend your life but you value telling the truth over the inevitable fallout, more likely than not you are sincere in what you say is true.

That has nothing to do with whether you are telling the truth under oath, or are simply telling the truth period. It has to do with whether you value the truth. If you do, you will tell the truth regardless of whether you re under oath. If you do not, you won't. No oath in the world can make you value the truth if you don't inherently value it.

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #14)

Fri May 1, 2020, 10:51 AM

15. Again, you're not understanding what I'm saying.

I'm not saying that people don't lie under oath. I'm saying that when they do, it's almost always for defensive reasons, not offensive reasons.

When Bill Clinton denied his consensual affair with Monica Lewinsky while under oath, he wasn't doing it for the objective of hurting anyone. He was ashamed and embarrassed to admit the truth. He was a husband, a father, and as President of the United States, considered a role model by many, and admitting to breaching people's trust was too much for his pride to handle. I'm certainly not excusing that, but I'm not saying it's that abnormal for a person to deny having an extramarital affair.

But denying an affair is in no way similar to accusing another person of sexual assault. We're talking about two completely different situations.

I think you're also not grasping the disparity between Christine Blasey-Ford and Juanita Broaddrick.

First, you say that the biggest factor for the hell Blasey-Ford was forced to endure was not because she testified, but because she made the claim. But remember that several women actually accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault (one of those turned out to be false, by the way). Yet how many people can remember off the top of their head the names of these women, the details of their allegations, or what they looked like?

Very few. Because Blasey-Ford was the only one who testified publicly (although at least one other wanted to, IIRC).

Christine Blasey-Ford went to the Senate, raised her arm, took an oath, and testified under that oath to something--that if indeed was true--was one of the worst moments of her life. This was televised live on every broadcast network and news channel. She fielded questions from a lawyer and from members of the US Senate, half of whom thought she was just there as a ploy to derail Kavanaugh's nomination. Afterwards, the internet and right wing media was full of people mocking her appearance or her voice or her answers, including from shitstains like Juanita Broaddrick herself.

Meanwhile, what has Juanita Broaddrick done?

For 20 years, she's gone on friendly right media, whether it's Sean Hannity on primetime Fox News or Jim Bob Joe's local AM radio hour, and gets tossed friendly softball questions from people who have long convicted Bill and Hillary Clinton of every imaginable crime under the sun. She happily rushes to Donald Trump's side (literally) right after the Access Hollywood tapes come out. She spends a lot of time on Twitter nastily spitting poison at all sorts of people, including other women who have made allegations of sexual assault if she doesn't like who they're making the allegations against. (I'm not just talking about casting doubt on their claims, I'm talking ugly school girlish taunts about their appearance and such.) She writes a book and goes on a book tour in small, conservative friendly towns.

And apparently she puts together jigsaw puzzles and then autographs them and then sells them to her fans. Which isn't anything bad...just random, I suppose.

But the point is, she had the chance to do what Blasey-Ford did, but didn't do that. And I completely understand, not all victims of sexual assault want to go public with their claims, especially if the perpetrator is a high profile figure. But it's not like she doesn't want to go public; she does want to go public, just in a fashion where she's not actually subjected to any actual scrutiny or face any sort of consequences if it turns out she's just full of shit. And she actually had a chance--she filed a lawsuit, she could have testified during that suit about all that she has happily spilled to the likes of Hannity. But she decided not to.

And that, in my mind, speaks volumes about her credibility. And in a case like hers, where all we have is her own word and no other evidence, her credibility is absolutely everything that there is.

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #7)

Fri May 1, 2020, 11:40 AM

20. I'm a Quaker, as well, but ...

... affirming that you are telling the truth vs swearing it still places you under the penalty of perjury if your statements turn out to be untrue.

That is because in a court proceeding, the court must have some way to punish those who would deliberately lie there.

That's why we affirm we are telling the truth, rather than "swear" it. It still has the same legal weight as to whether or not you'll go to jail if the testimony is false.

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Response to Tommy_Carcetti (Original post)

Thu Apr 30, 2020, 06:15 PM

13. I give Blasey-Ford's testimony the most credibility

in part because of Kavanaugh's demeanor, both as a young man and now. There were additional mentions of similar behavior from women who attended college parties with him, although they did not testify. And some of his actions and statements both as a justice and during the hearings led me to believe he was a bullying misogynist at heart. Those supported my belief that as a teenager he tried to take sexual advantage of an impaired (in his perception) young woman.

Broaddrick seemed to pop up when the rabid anti-Clinton pack was trying to find anyone, anything that would discredit Bill. His behavior with Lewinsky seems to have been consensual; IMHO they were looking for something more damning. The fact that Broaddrick would not testify under oath makes me question her story.

Reade's claim doesn't fit with the rest of Biden's public behavior. I've encountered men back in the 90s (and continue to even recently) who habitually put a hand on the shoulder or arm of someone they're talking to, male or female. They seem to mostly be sales types or glad-handing politicians. I don't care for it, but I don't think it falls under sexual harassment. I don't know much about Reade; Biden strikes me as the sort that would grab everyone's hand or pat them on the back. My current feeling is that it's a way to both cast a pall on his more-or-less clean image - and to get something out in front of the public in an attempt to downplay the inevitable Trump sexual allegation charges.

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Response to Retrograde (Reply #13)

Fri May 1, 2020, 10:51 AM

16. Agreed. nt

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Response to Tommy_Carcetti (Original post)

Fri May 1, 2020, 11:28 AM

18. Reade does claim to have reported it at the time...

...not to police, but to her superiors on Biden's staff and to have filed a complaint with the appropriate senate or congressional personnel office.

The people she named as having been told deny that she did so, and she has not produced the copy of the complaint that she would have been given. If such a complaint is in the federal records, it would corroborate some of what she says (though perhaps not everything). If it's not there, then she lacks that solid corroboration.

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Response to JHB (Reply #18)

Fri May 1, 2020, 11:31 AM

19. We can only see how that will pan out. nt

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