The Times Up Legal Defense Fund, a fund administered by the National Women’s Law Center, declined the chance to defend one of former Vice President Joe Biden’s sexual harassment accusers citing its non-profit status and his presidential run.
On Tuesday, the Intercept’s Ryan Grim reported that Tara Reade, one of several women to come forward with credible allegations of harassment against Biden last spring was turned away from the preeminent #MeToo legal institution when she sought help with her case.
Time’s Up argued that the case was too political considering that Biden was a candidate for president, and it didn’t want to jeopardize its status housed with the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) as a 501(c)(3) non-profit with the Internal Revenue Service, which allows the organization to be exempt from certain taxes. Since launching in 2017, Times Up has raised more than $24 million through the crowdfunding platform GoFundMe and has provided substantial legal support for big name accusers such as those abused by Harvey Weinstein.
In Reade’s case however, she was shown the door.
In February, Reade was told after discussions on her case between Time’s Up and NWLC that the organization would refrain from offering Reade their support.
“Please know how much I appreciate your courage in speaking out and appreciate what you shared over the phone, that you are speaking out so that your daughter and other young people can start their careers free of harassment,” wrote the NWLC’s program director to Reade, according to the Intercept.
“As a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization, the National Women’s Law Center is restricted in how it can spend its funds, including restrictions that pertain to candidates running for election,” NWLC spokesoman Maria Patrick told the Intercept. “Our decision on whether or not to provide certain types of support to an individual should not be interpreted as our validation or doubt of the truthfulness of the person’s statements. Regardless, our support of workers who come forward regarding workplace sexual harassment remains unwavering.”
When trying to be heard, Reade told Krystal Ball on The Hill’s ‘Rising‘ that she approached Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts who brushed off her claims.
“I’ve actually been out there, trying to get my story heard for months. I decided to tell the full story. It wasn’t being picked up by any news outlets so I went to Kamala Harris, I went to Elizabeth Warren… and I never received a response.”
Never mind that the two senators both openly endorsed the impeachment of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh over demonstrably weak and unverified allegations from more than 30 years ago.
Reade detailed her sexual assault from Biden in an interview with Katie Halper published Wednesday.