The Trump administration is taking steps to overhaul the way college campuses treat sexual assault and harassment, codifying sexual misconduct as prohibited under Title IV and pledging a “presumption of innocence” for those accused.
“For the first time in history, the new regulation will codify that sexual harassment, including sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking, is prohibited under Title IX,” a White House press release Wednesday read.
“This new regulation will hold schools accountable for failures to respond equitably and promptly to incidents of sexual misconduct.”
The administration is also focusing on the rights of the accused.
“Bureaucracy created in our Nation’s institutions of higher education have often stacked the deck against the accused, failing to offer protections such as a presumption of innocence or adequate ability to rebut allegations,” the release reads.
The new guidelines will work in a “grievance process that treats the accused as innocent until proven guilty, requires the school to state a standard of evidence, and requires the school to provide a written decision and rationale.”
“Recognizing that colleges often fail to provide due process, Federal courts reviewing campus adjudications have stepped in to issue more than 100 decisions favorable to the accused.”
The Trump 2020 campaign responded to the White House’s new guidelines by taking a swipe at former Vice President Joe Biden, saying in a statement that Biden previously believed in the “presumption of guilt” for those accused of sexual misconduct.
“Before Tara Reade’s assault accusations, Biden was unwavering in a presumption of guilt for the accused including Brett Kavanaugh. That presumption of guilt included the disastrous Title IX regulations under the Obama-Biden administration, making it more difficult on college campuses for the accused to receive a fair hearing and their due process rights,” Erin Perrine, Principal Deputy Communications Director for the Trump campaign told the Daily Caller.
“Does Joe still stand by his presumption of guilt for the accused – or has he set a new standard for himself in the face of his own sexual assault accusations from a former staffer?” Perrine continued.
Indeed, many have noted that Biden has supported policies that undermine due process for those accused of sexual assault, both in the case of now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and on college campuses. (RELATED: Joe Biden Has A Long History Of Opposing Due Process In Sexual Assault Cases)
Tara Reade, a former Biden senate staffer, accused Biden of inappropriately touching her and sexually assaulting her when she worked in his office in 1993.
During a podcast appearance in March, she went public with her allegations.
“We were alone, and it was the strangest thing. There was no, like, exchange really, he just had me up against the wall,” Reade said, recalling the alleged assault.
“His hands were on me and underneath my clothes. And then, he went, he went down my skirt and then up inside it, and he penetrated me with his fingers…and um…He was kissing me at the same time and he was saying something to me,” she said.
Biden’s campaign quickly denied the allegation, but the candidate himself refused to address them directly until last week. (RELATED: ‘I Want The Same Equal Treatment’: Biden Accuser Tara Reade Tears Into Media, Women’s Groups, Democratic Politicians)
During an appearance on MSNBC, Biden denied Reade’s story, saying, “I’m saying unequivocally it never, never happened.”
MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski pushed Biden on his previous comments about believing women when they allege sexual assault.
“Are women to be believed unless it pertains to you?” she asked.
“Look, women are to be believed, given the benefit of the doubt,” he said.
“If they come forward and say something that they said happened to them, they should start off with the presumption they are telling the truth. Then you have to look at the circumstances and the facts. And the facts in this case do not exist. They never happened.” (RELATED: Senate Democrats Refuse To Acknowledge Sexual Assault Accusations Against Joe Biden)
The Biden campaign did not immediately respond to The Caller when reached for comment.