The Governor of Virginia reportedly said that he will “definitely” not resign after a second woman has accused Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assault.
“Embattled Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) told staff on Friday that he definitely won’t resign after previously leaving the door open to stepping aside, a source familiar with the meeting tells TPM,” according to Talking Points Memo.
Both men are clinging to office through their respective scandals.
“Northam told staff at a meeting that he won’t leave the governor’s office and plans to serve out the next three years of his term in spite of an ongoing scandal over his use of blackface in the 1980s,” the report continued.
Last Friday, Big League Politics published photos showing Northam in blackface or a KKK outfit from his yearbook at Eastern Virginia Medical School. Sunday, Big League Politics published the first claim of sexual assault made against Fairfax.
This afternoon, a second woman came forward to accuse Fairfax of rape. Big League Politics reported:
Justin Fairfax is now accused of rape by a classmate during his time at Duke University, according to her lawyers. This is the second allegation of sexual assault levied against the Virginia Democrat lieutenant governor, following Dr. Vanessa Tyson’s claim that Fairfax sexually assaulted her by forcing her to perform fellatio in a hotel room at the Democratic National Convention in Boston in 2004. Tyson has made it clear that she is willing to cooperate in an investigation of Fairfax, according to a source cited by the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Evergreen Partners confirmed to Big League Politics that the firm is representing Meredith Watson.
Former Democratic Governor of Virginia Terry McAuliffe has called for the immediate resignation of Fairfax in the aftermath of the second accusation.
“The allegations against Justin Fairfax are serious and credible. It is clear to me that he can no longer effectively serve the people of Virginia as Lieutenant Governor. I call for his immediate resignation,” he said on Twitter.
The allegations against Justin Fairfax are serious and credible. It is clear to me that he can no longer effectively serve the people of Virginia as Lieutenant Governor. I call for his immediate resignation.
— Terry McAuliffe (@TerryMcAuliffe) February 8, 2019
The seriousness of the allegations against Fairfax have taken some of the heat off of Northam for the moment.
One Democratic state lawmaker has even broken with the rest of the caucus, claiming that Northam should stay despite his obvious racism.
“Sen. Chap Petersen, D-Fairfax City, said in a news release he won’t call for Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, Attorney General Mark Herring or anyone else to resign ‘until it is obvious that they have committed a crime in office or their ability to serve is irredeemably compromised,'” according to The Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Petersen, a white man, apparently does not take racism very seriously. His comments make sense, though, given that Democrats tend to care more about power than decency.
Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring, third in line to become governor if both Northam and Fairfax resign, has admitted to wearing blackface in 1980.
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