Oversight panel distances from Gaetz, Greene push to bring Tara Reade for interview
The House Oversight Committee is distancing itself from a push by Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) to bring Tara Reade, who has accused President Biden of sexually assaulting her, in for an interview after Gaetz announced the panel’s chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) had given the green light.
But Greene on Wednesday said that while there has been some “miscommunication,” she is in the beginning stages of the process of bringing Reade in for a transcribed interview.
Gaetz, who is not on the House Oversight panel, said on his podcast released Wednesday that Comer told Greene “that we would be fully authorized to bring in Tara Reade, to take her transcribed interview.” Reade went public during the 2020 campaign to accuse Biden of sexually assaulting her when she worked as a staffer in his Senate office in 1993, which Biden has denied.
The House Oversight Committee quickly pushed back on Gaetz’s assertion.
“The Oversight Committee is focused on the Biden family’s business schemes and bank records. Chairman Comer is happy to have a conversation with Rep. Gaetz about oversight he thinks should be done and what committee that should be done in,” a committee spokesperson said in a statement.
Comer reportedly told Politico, “I don’t even know who that is” when asked about Gaetz’s announcement of a Reade interview, and noted his committee had not made any announcement. Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) also told The Hill that he did not know anything about a Reade interview.
Still, Greene and Gaetz said there had been a conversation with Comer about interviewing Reade.
“We are going to be talking to her. I just confirmed that. There’s going to be a multiple-step process because the biggest story that we have right now is the banking records,” Greene said, in reference to records that the Oversight Committee got from the Treasury Department relating to businesses connected to Biden’s family members.
Greene said a transcribed interview is “going to take place,” but it has not yet been scheduled.
“We’re gonna first be talking with her privately. And then we’ll be planning a transcribed interview,” Greene said.
Greene said she would probably include Gaetz, who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, in the interview.
“I’m in,” Gaetz said, noting that “Oversight and Judiciary have a history of collaborating on investigations.”
“Things happened quickly before – there was – it was a little bit of a miscommunication,” Greene said.
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) took a personal swipe at Gaetz when asked about a Reade interview.
“Wasn’t he the subject of a year-long investigation?” Connolly said, in reference to the Department of Justice investigating Gaetz for sex trafficking but declining to bring any charges. “And he wants to subpoena somebody and have a deposition whose credentials, shall we say, are highly suspect.”
While Reade got some corroboration from people who said she told them about the assault decades ago, other past acquaintances of her’s cast doubt on her credibility, and discrepancies and confusion about whether she graduated from college as she said she did further damaged her public credibility.
Oversight Committee member Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.), for his part, indicated that he is taking Gaetz’s word for it that there will be an interview with Reade.
“If it’s in the middle of August and Matt Gaetz tells me it’s fixing the snow, I’m gonna get my sled up here,” Burchett said when asked about the situation.
Reade over the weekend called on Greene and Gaetz to investigate her claims of assault, jumping off President Donald Trump’s announcement that he could soon be arrested in connection to the Manhattan District Attorney’s investigation into hush money payments to former adult film star Stormy Daniels in 2016.
Greene on Sunday responded that they would like to invite Reade to come speak to them in Washington to “take a stand against the two-tiered justice system.”
Mychael Schnell contributed.
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