Feb 21, 2019

Virginia Republicans push for 10-person probe of lieutenant governor

Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax

Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D-Va.) Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Virginia House Speaker Kirk Cox (R) has pitched Democrats on a 10-person bipartisan committee to investigate sexual assault accusations by two women against Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, reports the Washington Post.

The big picture: Republicans, who have a narrow majority in the Virginia General Assembly, need bipartisan buy-in to move forward with the investigation. But House Minority Leader Eileen Filler-Corn (D) expressed apprehension that a committee may hamper a criminal investigation, an alternative that Democrats believe would help avoid a “political, partisan sideshow.”

  • Democratic leaders uniformly called for Fairfax to resign once the second allegation was made, but Fairfax has resisted and requested an independent investigation.
  • Both women, Dr. Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson, have expressed a willingness to testify.

What they're saying: A spokesperson for Fairfax, Lauren Burke, responded to requests for an investigation by saying: "It would be extraordinary and unprecedented to initiate a General Assembly inquiry about matters that are better left to law enforcement. The Lieutenant Governor remains confident that the truth will prevail and that he will be exonerated."

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