Harris says assault allegations against Virginia lt. gov 'credible,' should be investigated

Harris says assault allegations against Virginia lt. gov 'credible,' should be investigated
© Stefani Reynolds

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisThe Hill's Morning Report - In exclusive interview, Trump talks Biden, Iran, SCOTUS and reparations Biden to debate for first time as front-runner Rules for first Democratic primary debates announced MORE (D-Calif.) on Thursday called for an investigation into the allegations of sexual assault against Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D).

Harris told reporters that Vanessa Tyson's statement detailing her claims against Fairfax was a "credible account."

"I think there should be an investigation to get to the bottom of it and determine the facts," she said.

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Tyson came forward on Wednesday to detail allegations against Fairfax. She alleged that the two had been consensually kissing in a hotel room during a 2004 encounter, but that Fairfax then forced her to perform oral sex.

Fairfax has denied the allegations and insisted the interaction was consensual. The Washington Post, which investigated the claims last year, said its reporters were not able to corroborate either account. Both sides have retained legal counsel. 

The allegations against Fairfax emerged just days after Gov. Ralph Northam (D) admitted to wearing blackface decades ago after he was already under fire for a racist photo on his medical school yearbook page. Northam first said he was in the photo before later saying that he is not one of the two pictured.

Harris is the most high-profile Democrat to date, and the first Democrat running for president in 2020, to call for an investigation into the allegations against Fairfax.

Rep. Jennifer WextonJennifer Lynn WextonLawmakers battle over HUD protections for homeless transgender people Virginia lawmakers respond to shooting: 'My heart breaks for ... our entire commonwealth' Second Republican blocks disaster aid bill's passage in House MORE (D-Va.) on Wednesday became the first federal lawmaker to publicly state she believes Tyson's claims, and Rep. Jackie SpeierKaren (Jackie) Lorraine Jacqueline SpeierDemocratic lawmaker on Iran: 'We are provoking them, we are taunting them' Overnight Defense: Trump hails D-Day veterans in Normandy | Trump, Macron downplay rift on Iran | Trump mourns West Point cadet's death in accident | Pentagon closes review of deadly Niger ambush Trump hails D-Day veterans in Normandy: 'You are the pride of our nation' MORE (D-Calif.) said Thursday morning that she found Tyson's account credible.