Prominent lawyer, Trump donor representing Biden accuser

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Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

In this April 4, 2019, photo Tara Reade poses for a photo during an interview with The Associated Press in Nevada City, Calif. (AP Photo/Donald Thompson)

WASHINGTON – Tara Reade, a former Senate staffer who alleged Joe Biden sexually assaulted her 27 years ago, is being represented by a prominent lawyer and political donor to President Donald Trump’s 2016 Republican campaign.

Attorney Douglas Wigdor told The Associated Press he was not currently being paid for his work with Reade. His firm also denied there was a political motivation for his decision to represent Reade in her accusations against Trump’s presumptive Democratic opponent in the November election.

“We have decided to take this matter on because every survivor has the right to competent counsel,” the firm said in a statement.

Reade has said for weeks that she was struggling to find a lawyer willing to represent her. She’s accused Biden of sexually assaulting her in 1993, when she worked on his Senate staff. He has denied her allegation.

On Thursday, Reade said she wanted Biden to be “held accountable” and called on him to drop out of the presidential race. Her comments came in her first on-camera interview, conducted by former Fox News and NBC News journalist Megyn Kelly.

Pressed by a Florida television station about Reade’s comment, Biden reiterated his denial of the allegation.

“The truth is what matters,” he told Bay News 9. “In this case, the truth is these claims are flat-out false.”

Wigdor is well known for his work on prominent cases related to sexual harassment and assault. He represented six women who accused Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced Hollywood producer, of sexual misconduct. He has also represented a number of Fox News employees in cases alleging gender and racial discrimination at the network, including Juliette Huddy, one of the women who accused Bill O'Reilly of pursuing a sexual relationship with her and retaliating when she refused. In 2018, he spoke out in the media defending Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault.