The team that vetted Joe Biden to be Barack Obama’s running mate in 2008 did what was described as a “deep-dive” investigation into the then-Delaware senator and found absolutely no evidence to substantiate claims of sexual harassment or assault regarding former Biden aide Tara Reade, according to a senior member of the Obama campaign team.

David Axelrod, who served as senior adviser to President Barack Obama and chief strategist for the 2008 and 2012 Obama presidential campaigns and now works as political commentator for CNN, notes in an piece he wrote for that Reade’s name never even surfaced during the vetting process:

“The comprehensive vet certainly would have turned up any formal complaints filed against Biden during his 36-year career in the Senate. It did not. The team would have investigated any salacious rumors of the sort that travel far and wide in Washington. There were none.

“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.”

Axelrod also points out that when Biden was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, Reade didn’t come forward and accuse Biden of anything the least bit untoward or improper. He adds that if there had been even a hint of impropriety on Biden’s part, he would never have been named to the ticket by Obama.

While Axelrod expresses support for women who bring accusations of sexual misconduct, he concludes his article by expressing his full support for Biden, who is now the presumptive 2020 Democratic nominee:

“Our society is just now confronting a long, sordid history of disregarding accusations and silencing women who were sexually abused or assaulted. Women who come forward deserve to be taken seriously and treated with respect, and Tara Reade’s story should be heard and thoroughly investigated.

“But it is striking that when an experienced vetting team put Biden under a microscope before he was chosen to be second-in-line for the presidency, neither her allegations, nor anything resembling them in Biden’s history, showed up.”

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