Attorney for Tara Reade, the former Senate aide who accused Joseph R. Biden Jr. of sexual assault, said Friday that he would not represent her again, just two weeks after taking her as a client.
His announced departure comes a day after California’s defense lawyers said they were reviewing criminal cases in which Ms. served. Reade as an expert witness on domestic violence, was concerned that he had misrepresented his educational credentials in court.
While not giving a reason for his departure, Mr. Wigdor said his decision “does not mean reflection on whether Senator Biden sexually assaulted Ms. Reade,” adding that he was among 55 percent Americans believe in him, according to a Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll.
Mr. Wigdor, a conservative Republican whose support for President Trump in 2016 did not deter him from meeting Trump’s known allies, has a farewell shot for news media, which he has accused of applying for “double standard” in its scope of accusations against accusations. assumed Democratic nominee.
“Much of what has been written about Ms. Reade is not the probability of then-Senator Biden being sexually assaulted, but rather intended to victimize and attack her credentials in unrelated and irrelevant ways. things, “he said. “We have and will continue to represent survivors regardless of their status or politics.”
Ms. refused Reade commented on his lawyer’s departure.
He will leave as his credibility will come under harsh scrutiny. On Thursday in California, attorneys who appeared before him in court began questioning the legitimacy of his testimony, and the verdict that followed, following news reports that Antioch had disputed his claim to receive bachelor’s degree from Seattle’s campus.
Then known as Alexandra McCabe, Ms. testified. Reade has been a government witness in Monterey County courts for nearly a decade, describing himself as an expert in the dynamics of domestic violence that has counseled hundreds of victims.
The Monterey County public prosecutor’s office has begun reviewing cases involving Ms. Reade and compiled a list of clients who may have been affected by his testimony, according to Jeremy Dzubay, an assistant public defender in the office.
Roland Soltesz, a criminal defense attorney, said he believes Ms.’s testimony was Reade makes a big difference in the outcome of the 2018 trial of his client, Victoria Ramirez. Both are Ms. Ramirez and his co-defendant, Jennifer Vasquez, have received life sentences for attempted murder, oppression and armed robbery.
“People are being judged on the basis of this, and that’s wrong,” Mr. Soltesz said, adding that “he doesn’t care much about politics about this whole thing.”
Ms. Accused Mr. Biden allegedly attacked him in the Senate complex in 1993, putting his hand under his clothes and slipping on his toes. G. Biden flatly denies his accusation.
Questions about Reade Reade’s educational background first reported by CNN.
Ms. Reade told The New York Times that he obtained his degree through a “protected program” for victims of spousal abuse, which, court records show, he suffered at the hands of his ex-wife in the mid-1990s. That history, he said, caused his name to change, leading to confusion about his status at school. He later received a law degree from Seattle University.
But Antioquia spokeswoman Karen Hamilton, told The Times that while Ms. Reade attends classes, certainly Ms. Reade did not receive a degree.
In her testimony at the 2018 trial, Ms. Reade about his degree by Mr. Soltesz. He testified that he had received a liberal arts degree, as stated in his résumé provided by the district attorney’s office. “The focus is political science,” he said, according to a test transcript.
Ms. also said Reade told the court that he is currently a substitute teacher but has worked in the prevention of domestic violence for more than two decades and has testified in more than 20 cases. His career began, he said, in Mr. Biden’s office.
“I’m a legislative assistant,” he said, according to testimony. “She worked on the Violence Against Women Act, the federal act.”
Staff lists published in 1993 show Ms. Reade listed as an assistant to the staff, a unique position from the legal assistant at work that he mentioned in his testimony. Both titles are common in congressional offices, with a legislative assistant indicating a slightly older post that involves working on policy. In many interviews, Ms. Reade her duties as managing interns, not to mention any direct work in violation of Women’s Law.
In an interview, Mr. Soltesz described Ms. Reade was “eloquent” and “a good witness to the stand,” and said he was impressed with his experience with Mr. Biden.
But both Mr. Soltesz and Scott Erdbacher, the attorney for Ms. Vasquez, raised objections to Ms.’s testimony. Reade, according to the transcript, said they were skeptical that his work experience would qualify him as an expert. The judge attacked them.
Now, Mr. Soltesz says he is spending if he can reopen his case. On Wednesday night, he emailed a network of more than 100 public defenders, alerting them to questions about Ms.’s background and credibility. Reade.
Monique S. Hill, a lawyer in another domestic violence case in which Ms. Reade served as an expert witness, saying he also saw the grounds to challenge the conviction.
“If I had the information I had today, this case, in my mind, would have been strange,” Ms. Hill, who served as public defender.
Monterey County district attorney Berkley Brannon, said that if Reade’s mother had violated her academic credentials, the office would warn all defense attorneys involved in the cases that featured her as a expert.
“This is really going to concern us, and it’s something that needs to be known about defense attorneys,” he said. “We don’t want people we call lying about anything.”
He said the office would not take any steps to contact defense lawyers until it was satisfied that he had not obtained his bachelor’s degree. And, speaking hypothetically, he said the extent to which a false academic claim affects the cases he participated in depends on what material he testifies to the outcome.
The Sixth District Appellate Program, a state-funded public interest law firm representing low-income clients in the region, is also reviewing all cases involving Ms. Reade.
Ms. Reade said she has an undergraduate degree, saying the school has no record of her graduation due to special arrangements being put in place to protect her from her ex-husband. He sent The Times a screenshot of a transcript showing him 35 course credits, his department as “BA Completion” and nothing listed under the “date granted” or “degree awarded.” According to the picture, he attended school on October 2, 2000.
Credits from his earlier studies at Pasadena City College link to his old social security number and name – the same one he uses today – that he worries that his ex-wife and his daughter, she said. In order to protect his identity as a survivor of domestic abuse, Ms. Reade said he received his degree through the private assistance of school president Tullisse Murdock. He said he did not receive a diploma or request one because he was “fast-tracked” in law enforcement.
“The president removed it from the register and made it available for full confidentiality,” he said in an interview.
But Ms. Hamilton, spokesman for Antioquia, told The Times it had spoken to Ms. Murdock, and there is no such special arrangement with Ms. Reade. It takes 180 credits to graduate, and students earn a maximum of 45 for life experience or previous studies, according to the school’s website.
Seattle University School of Law confirms that Ms. Reade who graduated with a degree in J.D. in 2004. The school is only considering accepting bachelor’s degree students, according to its website. But it does not share what degree Ms. Reade in his initial application, citing federal privacy standards.
Lying in court is generally considered a crime, albeit a difficult one. To be considered perjury, usually a false statement must be a false statement.
Even Ms. Reade was not found to be defiling himself, exaggerating his qualifications as an expert witness could be the basis for dismissing a verdict.
“An expert can only testify in certain circumstances,” said Mark J. Reichel, a Sacramento-based criminal defense lawyer who previously worked as a federal public defender. “One of them is that they have more expertise than the regular person. The jury has the right to hear your qualifications.”