In two previous posts, I shared some thoughts on the general topic of Fingergate. Bottom line: a real investigation is the least bad course of action—for Biden himself, for the Democratic cause, and even for the many folks who, like me, would vote for Biden over Trump, even if twenty bishops had taken videos of the 1993 incident.
I talked today with old friend Clarence Thomas Darrow (CTD)—who reminded me that he had lots of legal experience with sexual harassment claims, claims both good and bad, claims where he represented the plaintiff and where he represented the defendant. As for me, I never worked on a sex case, but I do know a hell of a lot about document investigations and witness interviews.
I’m going to synthesize our thoughts. But you may assume the good ideas are all those of CTD and the bad ones are mine.
The Democratic National Committee should pick an elder statesman of stature, to oversee an investigation. He or she should immediately hire a respected law firm—probably, one of the American Lawyer 100, and, certainly, a firm without a known political bias toward Republicans or Democrats. That’s most of the big law firms, but not all of them. The DNC should instruct their counsel to investigate Ms. Reade’s claims fully, and to prepare a detailed report.
The firm should reach out to all the witnesses—to Ms. Reade, to her corroborators, to Biden, and to the people who worked for Biden in 1993. All should be interviewed extensively, and on the record. All should be invited to prepare affidavits, setting forth their testimony under penalty of perjury. All should be asked to turn over copies of relevant documents in their possession, and to provide the names of others with potentially relevant information. A second round of interviews should then take place.
Failure to cooperate fully should be taken as a strong indication of lack of credibility.
Meanwhile, the personnel records from back in 1993 should be located. Joe Biden is under the impression that they are in the National Archives. But, I read today, the National Archives said they’re not there, they’re at Agency A; Agency A said they’re held by Agency B; and Agency B said, no, the National Archives has them.
Wherever the personnel records are, they should be found and reviewed.
The attorneys and the DNC should reach a preliminary conclusion about what probably happened in 1993—and about the degree of confidence that may be reposed in that conclusion.
If there Is still no basis for a reasonably confident conclusion, the investigation should then look into Biden’s senatorial records at the University of Delaware. There are said to be 200 boxes of paper documents and 400 GB of digital data. That’s a lot of information. But large law firms know exactly how to send platoons of lawyers to read files and pick out the relevant information.
Been there, done that. It’s no hill for a climber.