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 SpanbergerAssault weapons ban picks up steam in Congress Pelosi backers feel vindicated after tumultuous stretch Overnight Defense: House votes to block Trump arms sales to Saudis, setting up likely veto | US officially kicks Turkey out of F-35 program | Pentagon sending 2,100 more troops to border MORE, Elaine LuriaElaine Goodman LuriaThe House Democrats who voted to kill impeachment effort Bipartisan group of lawmakers invites colleagues to tour DC's Holocaust museum Hopes dim for passage of Trump trade deal MORE, Jennifer WextonJennifer Lynn WextonThe Hill's Morning Report - Progressives, centrists clash in lively Democratic debate Progressives face steep odds in ousting incumbent Democrats Congress needs to continue fighting the opioid epidemic MORE and Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyHistory in the House: Congress weathers unprecedented week Democrat grills DHS chief over viral image of drowned migrant and child Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers struggle to understand Facebook's Libra project | EU hits Amazon with antitrust probe | New cybersecurity concerns over census | Robocall, election security bills head to House floor | Privacy questions over FaceApp 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 McEachinRacial politics roil Democratic Party CBC lawmakers rip Justice Democrats for targeting black lawmakers for primaries Harris hops past Biden in early race for Black Caucus support 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.