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8 Feb, 2019 22:21

Virginia power crisis: As 2nd woman accuses him of rape, Lt. Gov faces impeachment unless he resigns

Virginia power crisis: As 2nd woman accuses him of rape, Lt. Gov faces impeachment unless he resigns

Democratic congressional leaders are calling for the resignation of embattled Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax after a second woman has accused him of sexual assault, less than two weeks after the first allegations surfaced.

Virginia House of Delegates member Patrick Hope announced he will introduce articles of impeachment against Fairfax on Monday if he does not resign over the weekend, while Democrats in the Virginia state House and Senate issued a joint statement calling for his resignation. “Fairfax can no longer fulfill his duties,” the statement read. “The time has come for him to step down.”

Calls for the Virginia Democrat’s resignation began on Friday afternoon after Meredith Watson released a statement claiming she was raped in a “premeditated and aggressive assault” by Fairfax while both were students at Duke University in 2000. Watson told multiple friends and classmates about the assault after it happened –both verbally and in Facebook messages and emails, she has revealed through her attorney– and at least one of those friends has publicly corroborated her account, while others have reportedly provided statements. Watson says she doesn’t want any money from Fairfax – she just wants him to resign.

Democratic presidential hopefuls including Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) called for Fairfax to step down on Friday evening, as did other prominent Democrats, including Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Virginia) and former Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe.

Fairfax has denied Watson’s allegations, claiming there is a “smear campaign” targeting him. “I will not resign,” he said in a statement, calling for a full investigation and noting he has already passed FBI background checks. “Two pieces of paper and no proof should not be enough to end a political career,” he reportedly added later on Friday.

Also on rt.com Virginia’s Lt. Governor facing #MeToo moment as his boss refuses to resign over blackface scandal

The Lt. Governor also insisted there was nothing non-consensual about his encounter with Vanessa Tyson, the professor who accused him of sexually assaulting her during the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Tyson released a statement claiming she initially suppressed memories of the assault –in which the Democratic politician allegedly forced her to perform oral sex– out of shame until the news he was running for office “hit [her] like a ton of bricks.

Fairfax isn’t the only VA Democrat in hot water, as the entire state leadership is crumbling under allegations of racism and sexual assault. After first admitting, then denying he had appeared in a photo from his high school yearbook depicting a man in blackface next to a man in a KKK costume, Governor Ralph Northam has refused to step down despite calls for his resignation. Meanwhile, Attorney General Mark Herring has admitted that he too wore blackface at a college party.

Also on rt.com ‘Don’t want to get into that’: Democrats' #MeToo double standard on Kavanaugh and Fairfax

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