Both the Department of Education and President Donald Trump’s campaign pushed back on 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden’s promise to reverse due process rules for campus sexual assault on Thursday.
The former vice president, who faces sexual assault allegations by his former Senate staffer Tara Reade, promised Wednesday to reverse Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’s Title IX protections for those accused of sexual assault on college campuses. The protections are the Trump administration’s effort to “shame and silence” sexual assault victims, he added in a statement.
Press Secretary of the Department of Education Angela Morabito told the Daily Caller News Foundation on Thursday that the rule combats Obama-era rules that prohibited due process. (RELATED: Biden Promises To Reverse Due Process Protections For Those Accused Of Campus Sexual Assault)
“This Title IX rule explicitly protects survivors and restores due process for all students,” Morabito said. “The previous administration allowed schools to treat accused students as ‘guilty until proven innocent.'”
The rule lets colleges “off the hook for protecting students” by allowing colleges to investigate “in a way that dissuades survivors from coming forward,” Biden said Wednesday.
“Survivors deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and when they step forward they should be heard, not silenced,” he added. “Today, Betsy DeVos and Donald Trump published a rule that flies in the face of that belief and guarantees that college campuses will be less safe for our nation’s young people.”
Erin Perrine, Principal Deputy Communications Director for the Trump Campaign Erin Perrine told the DCNF that before Reade accused Biden, the former vice president 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,” she said.
“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 added.
Reade has accused Biden of kissing her, touching her and penetrating her with his fingers without her consent. (RELATED: Here’s What You Need To Know About Tara Reade’s Alleged Complaint Against Joe Biden)
The rule seeks to provide due process to those accused of sexual assault by narrowing the definition of sexual harassment, requiring schools to produce evidence and allowing the cross-examination of students alleging sexual assault, according to The Hill.
Morabito told the DCNF that the rule helps schools support survivors by making supportive measures like class and dorm changes available without a formal complaint.
“Under this new rule, no survivor will have to come face-to-face with the accused in a hearing,” she added. “This rule codifies for the first time that sexual harassment, including sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking, is prohibited under Title IX.”
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