Memoir Contradicts Biden's Claim of Having 'Believed' Anita Hill 'From the Beginning'

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April 29, 2019

The late Sen. Arlen Specter's (Pa.) memoir contradicts Joe Biden's recent claim of having "believed" Anita Hill "from the beginning."

During a recent appearance on ABC's The View to discuss his bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, Biden was confronted about his handling of the Supreme Court confirmation of Justice Clarence Thomas. Biden, who served as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee between 1987 and 1995, has been criticized for not doing enough to prevent Thomas's ascension to the nation's highest court amid allegations of sexual harassment by Hill.

During the show, Biden dismissed the notion he "treated" Hill badly, saying he was "proud of his record" and it was important to "look at what [he] said and didn't say."

"Not only didn't I vote for Clarence Thomas, I believed her from the beginning," Biden told the show's co-host Joy Behar. "I was against Clarence Thomas, I did everything in my power to defeat Clarence Thomas, and he won by the smallest margin anyone ever won going on the Supreme Court."

Biden's claim, however, is directly contradicted by Specter's 2000 memoir, "Passion for Truth: From Finding JFK's Single Bullet to Questioning Anita Hill to Impeaching Clinton." Specter, who died in 2012, served on the Senate Judiciary Committee while Biden was chairman during the Thomas confirmation battle.

According to the memoir, first unearthed by the Federalist, Biden admitted to Specter "it was clear...from the way" Hill answered "questions" while testifying in front of the Judiciary Committee about Thomas's alleged behavior that she "was lying." Biden's admission reportedly occurred in 1998, nearly seven years after Hill's explosive testimony.

The passage in Specter's memoir comes to light as Biden is embroiled in his own harassment scandal. Since March, numerous women have come forward to accuse the former vice president of unwanted touching. Biden has attempted to make light of such allegations, even joking about them during a recent speech in Washington, D.C.