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Vanessa Tyson, the woman who alleges Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax sexually assaulted her in 2004, released a statement Wednesday detailing her memory of the incident and rebuking his claims that the encounter was consensual.

"I cannot believe given my obvious distress, that Mr. Fairfax thought this forced sexual act was consensual. ... After the assault, I suffered from both deep humiliation and shame."

Details: Tyson, a professor at Scripps College in Claremont, California, said Fairfax kissed her after walking back to his hotel room during the Democratic National Convention in 2004, and that while it was surprising, it was "not unwelcome" and she kissed him back. Tyson alleged that even though she "had no intention of taking [her] clothes off or engaging in sexual activity," Fairfax pulled her toward his bed and forced her to perform oral sex on him.

  • After the encounter, Tyson said she avoided Fairfax the rest of the convention. She said she did not speak of the assault for years and that she suppressed her memories.
  • In October 2017, she saw a picture of Fairfax in an article about his campaign for lieutenant governor of Virginia. "The image hit me like a ton of bricks," she said.
  • Only then did she decide to tell close friends of hers, who were voters, about the assault.

Earlier this week, Tyson hired the same law firm that represented Christine Blasey Ford for her sexual assault claims against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Go deeper: Virginia's 3 highest ranking state officials all land in hot water

Go deeper

Ro Khanna wary of Biden approach on Middle East

Rep. Ro Khanna. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile for Web Summit via Getty Images

An outspoken progressive Democrat is wary of President Biden’s approach to the Middle East, arguing it’s like “conceding defeat of the aspiration” to win a Nobel Peace Prize.

Why it matters: A number of members of Biden’s own party dislike his Middle East strategy, as his administration signals the region is no longer the priority it was for President Obama and his predecessors.

Democrats eye reconciliation for immigration

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Comprehensive immigration reform is a pipe dream, but some Senate Democrats are hoping to tie key immigration provisions to the next big reconciliation push.

Why it matters: Immigration is one of the most controversial and partisan issues in U.S. politics, which is why the budget reconciliation process — which allows for bills to pass the Senate with a simple majority rather than the usual 60 votes — is so attractive.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Biden meeting Quad amid own pivot toward Asia

Artists paint portraits of President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in Mumbai, India. Photo: Anshuman Poyrekar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

President Biden plans to meet this month with the leaders of Japan, Australia and India in a virtual summit of the so-called Quad, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: By putting a Quad meeting on the president’s schedule, the White House is signaling the importance of partnerships and alliances to counter China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region.