Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam. Photo: Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Investigators could not determine whether the man posing in blackface on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook page was actually him, according to a 36-page report released Wednesday.

Why it matters: Northam, who still denies that he is the man in blackface next to a man dressed in Ku Klux Klan garb, was called on to resign by nearly every major Virginia and national Democratic official in the country earlier this year. Yet despite the massive pressure, Northam consistently said he plans on seeing his term through to the end.

The big picture: "With respect to the photograph on Governor Northam's personal page, we could not conclusively determine the identity of either individual depicted in the photograph," investigators wrote in the report. "The governor himself has made inconsistent public statements in this regard.”

  • The four-month long investigation by lawyers hired by EVMS interviewed several students and members of the yearbook staff at the time.
  • Investigators said they were not able to determine if the photograph was placed by mistake or without Northam's knowledge.
  • The lack of answers was blamed on how long ago the yearbook was made and the investigators' inability to contact some people who may have had more information.

When asked if he would take steps to provide Virginians with more answers, Northam told reporters that he suspects "this has been a thorough investigation. I've actually participated in the investigation, been present for the questioning the day they asked me of."

  • "I was elected to govern. I've got a great team. We're obviously refocusing on the inequities that exist across the commonwealth. I look forward to the next three years of our administration. We're going to keep Virginia the best state in the best country in the world."

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 32,471,119 — Total deaths: 987,593 — Total recoveries: 22,374,557Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 7,032,524 — Total deaths: 203,657 — Total recoveries: 2,727,335 — Total tests: 99,483,712Map.
  3. States: "We’re not closing anything going forward": Florida fully lifts COVID restaurant restrictions — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tests positive for coronavirus.
  4. Health: Young people accounted for 20% of cases this summer.
  5. Business: Coronavirus has made airports happier places The expiration of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance looms.
  6. Education: Where bringing students back to school is most risky.
Mike Allen, author of AM
6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden pushes unity message in new TV wave

A fresh Joe Biden ad, "New Start," signals an effort by his campaign to make unity a central theme, underscoring a new passage in his stump speech that says he won't be a president just for Democrats but for all Americans.

What he's saying: The ad — which began Friday night, and is a follow-up to "Fresh Start" — draws from a Biden speech earlier in the week in Manitowoc, Wisconsin:

Trump prepares to announce Amy Coney Barrett as Supreme Court replacement

Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Photo: Matt Cashore/Notre Dame University via Reuters

President Trump is preparing to nominate federal appeals court Judge Amy Coney Barrett of Indiana, a favorite of both the social conservative base and Republican elected officials, to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Republican sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Barrett would push the already conservative court further and harder to the right, for decades to come, on the most important issues in American politics — from abortion to the limits of presidential power. If confirmed, she would give conservatives a 6-3 majority on the high court.