Criminal Justice

Biden accuser's expert testimony is reviewed after questions are raised about her degree claim

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The woman who accused former Vice President Joe Biden of sexual assault has been dropped by her law firm and is facing accusations that she misstated her educational qualifications when she testified as an expert witness for California prosecutors.

Now, the Monterey County district attorney’s office is investigating whether the woman, Tara Reade, lied on the witness stand, report CNN and Politico. Defense lawyers are also investigating, report the Washington Post, the New York Times and the Monterey County Weekly.

Reade had testified as an expert in Monterey County that recantations are common in domestic abuse cases, the Monterey County Weekly had reported. At one time, she said she had testified in more than 20 cases.

Reade claimed to have an undergraduate degree from Antioch University in Seattle and said she was a visiting professor there at various times over five years.

But Antioch University denied that Reade had obtained a degree at the university, although it did confirm that she attended classes there, CNN first reported last week. The university also said Reade was never a faculty member, but she did do administrative work.

Joe Biden headshot Former Vice President Joe Biden in 2019. Photo by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons.

Reade said she had a special arrangement with the school to protect her identity because she had been the victim of domestic abuse. The university said there was no such arrangement. Reade did graduate from the Seattle University School of Law in 2004, the school confirmed.

Reade also testified in December 2018 that she had not taken the California bar exam, according to the Washington Post and Politico. But she said in a 2012 personal blog account that she was readying to take the California bar exam for the third time.

The Wigdor law firm announced that it was dropping Reade as a client in a statement Friday. The statement gave no reason for the decision but said it was not a reflection on whether Biden had sexually assaulted the woman. The firm did say that Reade was subjected to a double standard and victim shaming by the media.

Biden has denied that the assault happened. Reade had claimed that he pushed his hand under her dress and and penetrated her with his fingers in 1993, when she worked as an aide in his Senate office.

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