Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax gestures during remarks before a meeting of the Campaign to reduce evictions at a church meeting room in Richmond, Va., Sept. 25, 2018. (Associated Press)
Patrick Hope, a fellow Democrat and member of the Virginia House of Delegates, announced Friday that he intends to introduce articles of impeachment against Fairfax unless he resigns by Monday.
“On Monday, I will be introducing articles of impeachment for Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax if he has not resigned before then,” Hope wrote on Twitter.
A lawyer for accuser Meredith Watson said in a statement that Fairfax raped his client in 2000 when they were students at Duke University. The lawyer called the attack “premeditated and aggressive.”
Fairfax has denied the allegations against him. He said Friday that they were part of a smear campaign against him and doesn’t intend to resign.
Virginia has been engulfed by a recent series of racial scandals involving Gov. Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring, both Democrats, over their use of blackface while in college. Both men have signaled they have no intention of resigning — despite calls to resign from a host of Democrats with national profiles.
The allegations against Fairfax have also prompted calls for him to leave his post as well. Late Friday, U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., wrote on Twitter that Fairfax “can no longer effectively serve the Commonwealth.”
“We cannot ever ignore or tolerate sexual assault,” wrote Kaine, who was Hillary Clinton’s running mate in the 2016 presidential election.
A number of other top Virginia Democrats have also called for Fairfax to resign, including members of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus.
“In light of the most recent sexual assault allegations against Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus believes it is best for Lt. Governor Fairfax to step down from his position,” the caucus said in a statement.
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