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 SpanbergerOvernight Defense: Trump doubles down on claim Iran attacked tankers | Iran calls accusations 'alarming' | Top nuke official quietly left Pentagon | Pelosi vows Congress will block Saudi arms sale Overnight Defense: Trump doubles down on claim Iran attacked tankers | Iran calls accusations 'alarming' | Top nuke official quietly left Pentagon | Pelosi vows Congress will block Saudi arms sale Pelosi: Congress will block Trump's arms sales to Saudi Arabia MORE, Elaine LuriaElaine Goodman LuriaOvernight Defense: Pompeo blames Iran for oil tanker attacks | House panel approves 3B defense bill | Trump shares designs for red, white and blue Air Force One House panel approves 3B defense policy bill House panel approves 3B defense policy bill MORE, Jennifer WextonJennifer Lynn WextonLawmakers battle over HUD protections for homeless transgender people Lawmakers battle over HUD protections for homeless transgender people Virginia lawmakers respond to shooting: 'My heart breaks for ... our entire commonwealth' MORE and Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyDems eye repeal of Justice rule barring presidential indictments Dems eye repeal of Justice rule barring presidential indictments Swing-state Democrats see trouble in proposed pay hike 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 McEachinVirginia lawmakers respond to shooting: 'My heart breaks for ... our entire commonwealth' Overnight Energy: Trump moves forward with rule on California drilling | House panel advances bill that resumes participation in Paris climate fund | Perry pressed on 'environmental justice' | 2020 Dem proposes climate corps Perry, asked about environmental justice, talks about electricity prices 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.