According to Time, Joe Biden’s presidential campaign has confirmed that it has refunded a $2,800 donation from comedian Louis CK that came in at the beginning of March, and while a spokesperson for Biden’s campaign wouldn’t offer more details, Time points out that political campaigns regularly “vet” donations and will return contributions from people “who could pose a problem. CK, of course, admitted to accusations that he had exposed to women and forced them to watch him masturbate, saying in a statement from 2017 that “these stories are true” and that he would “step back and take a long time to listen.” That “long time” went for less than a year, with CK quietly returning to stand-up in 2018 and releasing a new special earlier this year.
So it makes perfect sense that the Biden campaign wouldn’t want to have it on record that it accepted nearly $3,000 from an admitted sexual predator… especially when the Biden campaign is facing accusations that the candidate himself has committed sexual assault. NPR recently conducted an investigation into the accusations against Biden, specifically a claim from a former junior staffer in his Senate office named Tara Reade who says Biden assaulted her in 1993 (she had previously joined in with a group of other women who accused Biden of inappropriately touching them, but she didn’t make public accusations of sexual assault until this year). The NPR link up above has the details if you want them, but the Biden campaign has denied Reade’s accusations and pointed to other longtime Staffers who also deny it and noted the lack of—as NPR puts it—“contemporaneous notes or documentation.” Meanwhile, friends and family of Reade have corroborated parts of her story and she has filed a police report, though the statute of limitations on the alleged assault has passed.
The timing of this is worth acknowledging, and while the Biden campaign surely gets lots of donations and can’t immediately vet each one, it’s certainly convenient to get a story like this out there while that other story is also out there. To sum it up: 2020 is a miserable nightmare.