Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax. Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP/Getty Images

Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax issued a statement Wednesday again denying a sexual assault allegation from 2004 that resurfaced this week.

"I'd like to begin by emphasizing how important it is for us to listen to women when they come forward with allegations of sexual assault or harassment. ... As I have stated previously, fifteen years ago, when I was an unmarried law student, I had a consensual encounter with the woman who made the allegation. ... She in no way indicated that anything that had happened between us made her uncomfortable. ... I cannot agree with a description of events that I know is not true."

The big picture: Originally, Fairfax called the allegation a smear campaign and questioned the timing of its release in the immediate aftermath of the scandal involving Gov. Ralph Northam and a racist yearbook picture, which raised the possibility that Fairfax could be elevated to the governorship. Fairfax said today that he has nothing to hide and that he wishes the woman no harm or humiliation.

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Appeals court allows House Democrats to continue lawsuit for Don McGahn testimony

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A D.C. appeals court on Friday allowed House Democrats to continue their case for testimony from former White House counsel Don McGahn before the House Judiciary Committee.

Why it matters: The ruling has broader implications beyond this specific instance, agreeing that Congress has the standing to sue to enforce subpoenas against executive branch officials even if the White House refuses to comply.

There's little consensus on TikTok's specific national security threat

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TikTok has become a Rorschach test for how U.S. politicians view China, with little consensus on the specifics of its threat to homeland security.

The big picture: Much of what D.C. fears about TikTok is fear itself, and that's reflected in President Trump's executive order to ban the app by Sept. 20 if it's not sold by parent company ByteDance — alongside another focused on Chinese messaging app WeChat and its parent company Tencent.

U.S. sanctions Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam

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The Treasury Department on Friday placed sanctions on Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, following months of tension as she has allowed continued overreach by Beijing to subvert Hong Kong's autonomy.

Why it matters: It's the toughest sanction yet imposed on China for its destruction of Hong Kong’s relatively free political system.