Saturday, 16 February, 2019

Virginia lieutenant governor faces calls to resign amid sexual assault claims

Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax presides over the Senate at the Virginia State Capitol Virginia power crisis escalates with 2nd woman accusing Democrat Lt. Governor of rape
Kenny Thornton | 10 February, 2019, 11:43

He said he is monitoring the situation involving Democratic Lieutenant-Governor Justin Fairfax, who is denying two sexual assault allegations, but that he has not made any decisions about who he might appoint as a replacement if Fairfax heeded calls to resign.

Gillibrand said she believed both women accusers, and called the alleged actions "sickening and horrendous", and called the women "extremely brave" for coming forward.

And former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe bluntly said, after Watson told her story in a statement from her law office, that Fairfax had to leave.

In its statement about Watson's accusation, Smith Mullin said the attack by Fairfax "was premeditated and aggressive", while also saying that Fairfax and Watson "were friends but never dated or had any romantic relationship".

Watson, Trinity '01, claimed Fairfax raped her when they were undergraduate students.

"I overreacted", Northam said, referring to a press statement wrote on February 1 taking blame for the picture.

Virginia's state government seemed to come unglued on February 8 as an embattled Gov. Ralph Northam made it clear he won't resign and the man in line to succeed him was hit with another sexual assault accusation and barraged with demands that he step down, too.

The official says Northam told his Cabinet during a Friday afternoon meeting that he intends to stay.

Fairfax emphatically denied the new allegation, as he did the first leveled earlier by Vanessa Tyson, a California college professor who said Fairfax forced her to perform sexual acts on him at a Boston hotel in 2004.

Watson's first statement outlined her accusation, saying that the details were similar to Tyson's and that she was friends with Fairfax as an undergraduate.

"The long and short of it is that Fairfax is the one in trouble and unless he's impeached, he does not have to resign", Sabato said.

Newport stun Middlesbrough to set up dream Man City Cup tie
Boro's cup exit was compounded by the fact their flight back to Teesside broke down on the runway, meaning they didn't get back to Rockliffe until 7am by coach.

"She was upset, said Adams".

Ralph Northam said Saturday that reports disclosing racist photos that appeared on his high school yearbook might serve a higher objective: The scandal could make him a better governor.

"The allegations against Justin Fairfax are serious and credible".

Northam and Herring are struggling to affirm their respect for African-Americans after acknowledging they wore blackface once decades ago. Initially, Fairfax's strategy was to aggressively refute the first allegation against him, speaking with reporters twice on the day it broke.

Fairfax has, however, dismissed the allegations by Watson, calling them "unsubstantiated" and "demonstrably false" and demanded a full investigation to "clear my good name".

"It's a nightmare right now", said Representative A. Donald McEachin, a Virginia Democrat who can trace his history here back to Revolutionary War-era slaves. Petersen's Democratic-leaning district includes Fairfax and Vienna.

Other congressional Democrats made unqualified calls for Fairfax to resign.

Those denials are not enough for him to keep his job, according to his fellow Democrats in the state Legislature. "I want to heal that pain, and I want to make sure that all Virginians have equal opportunity...and I think I'm the person that can do that for Virginia".

A third Virginia politician, the attorney general Mark Herring, has also apologized for wearing blackface in the 1980s when he was 19-years-old at a college party.

Now, both the lieutenant governor and governor of Virginia are facing mounting pressure from their party, Sabato says, as the future of the Democratic Party in 2020 hangs in the balance.

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