Virginia delegate plans to introduce articles of impeachment unless Fairfax resigns

Virginia House of Delegates Member Patrick Hope (D) announced Friday he intends to introduce articles of impeachment for Justin Fairfax unless the Democratic lieutenant governor resigns by Monday following new allegations of sexual assault.

“On Monday, I will be introducing articles of impeachment for Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax if he has not resigned before then,” Hope tweeted.

Hope issued the declaration hours after a second woman came forward on Friday to publicly accuse Fairfax of sexual assault.

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A lawyer for Meredith Watson released a statement saying Fairfax raped her in 2000 when they were both students at Duke University, adding that the alleged attack was “premeditated and aggressive.”

Vanessa Tyson was the first woman to accuse Fairfax of misconduct earlier this week, saying the lieutenant governor sexually assaulted her in 2004 at the Democratic National Convention in Boston.

“What began as consensual kissing quickly turned into a sexual assault,” Tyson, a college professor from California, said in a statement Wednesday. “Mr. Fairfax forced me to perform oral sex on him.”

Fairfax has denied both allegations. He issued a statement Friday claiming they were part of “a vicious and coordinated smear campaign” and vowing, “I will not resign.” 

Watson’s allegations have opened the floodgate to a host of calls for the lieutenant governor’s ouster from members of his own party.

"We believe Dr. Vanessa Tyson. We found her account compelling and highly credible. The central issue at the heart of her account is consent, and there can be no better authority to decide whether it was given than Dr. Tyson herself," several Virginia Democratic lawmakers said in a statement Friday night.

"Meredith Watson's statement describes another extremely disturbing incident, which lends further credence to Dr. Tyson's story,” Virginia Democratic Reps. Don Beyer, Abigail SpanbergerAbigail Davis SpanbergerHouse Dems introduce bill to fight social media disinformation Bipartisan lawmakers who visited Syrian border slam Trump's 'rash decision' Pelosi-backed group funding ads for vulnerable Democrats amid impeachment inquiry MORE, Elaine LuriaElaine Goodman LuriaPelosi-backed group funding ads for vulnerable Democrats amid impeachment inquiry Mass shootings have hit 158 House districts so far this year CNN faces backlash for video highlighting white congresswomen as impeachment leaders MORE, Jennifer WextonJennifer Lynn WextonCarson defends transgender comments, hits media for 'mischaracterizations' Ben Carson's remarks during San Francisco visit spark backlash Democrats blast HUD for removing LGBT language from grant competition MORE and Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyA dozen House Democrats call on EU ambassador to resign amid Ukraine scandal House questions Volker as impeachment probe ramps up Democrats probing whether groups booked Trump hotel rooms to earn president's favor: report MORE added in the joint statement

“Given recent developments, I believe that it is best for the Commonwealth of Virginia if Justin Fairfax dealt with these accusations as a private citizen. He can no longer serve us as the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia,” Rep. Donald McEachinAston (Donale) Donald McEachinHillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to testify on Libra | Extremists find home on Telegram app | Warren blasts Facebook for not removing anti-Biden ad | California outlaws facial recognition in police body cameras | China rips US tech sanctions House Democrats introduce new legislation to combat foreign election interference Racial politics roil Democratic Party MORE (D-Va.) tweeted.

The scandal surrounding Fairfax comes as another embroils Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and Attorney General Mark Herring (D) over their past use of blackface.