Democrats across the country are teaming up to call for the “immediate” resignation of Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax after a second woman accused him of sexual assault on Friday. Their calls come as top leaders in the state have come under pressure to resign over several controversies as of late.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is also in hot water after a photo in his medical school yearbook surfaced featuring one man wearing blackface and another in Ku Klux Klan robes. Many Democrats have since called for Northam to step down, but he’s currently vowing he’ll stay in office.
The plot thickened on Friday when Fairfax was accused of raping a Duke University student in 2000. The allegation comes shortly after he was already accused of a 2004 sexual assault, as IJR News reported.
According to a statement obtained by The New York Times, the attorney of the second alleged victim claimed the attack was “premeditated and aggressive.”
Read the statement below:
NEW: Another woman comes forward to accuse Fairfax of sexual assault, this time in 2000 > pic.twitter.com/NHNiYx8mLV
— Jonathan Martin (@jmartNYT) February 8, 2019
Fairfax would be the next in line if Northam were to step down over the pressure he’s facing to resign. However, several Democrats are calling for Fairfax to resign as well over the “troubling” allegations:
The allegations against Justin Fairfax are serious and credible. It is clear to me that he can no longer effectively serve the people of Virginia as Lieutenant Governor. I call for his immediate resignation.
— Terry McAuliffe (@TerryMcAuliffe) February 8, 2019
The allegations by Dr. Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson are corroborated, painful stories of sexual assault and rape. It’s clear Virginia Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax should resign his office.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) February 9, 2019
The multiple detailed allegations against the Lt. Gov. of Virginia are deeply troubling. They are serious, credible, and corroborated by others. It is no longer appropriate for him to serve. He should resign.
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) February 8, 2019
Last Friday I called on Gov. Northam to resign immediately. Two days ago I stated that I believe the claim regarding Lt. Governor Fairfax. Tonight, I call on both of them to step aside and allow the great state of Virginia to heal and move forward.
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) February 9, 2019
My statement below on Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax: pic.twitter.com/chu4oSdnbh
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) February 8, 2019
I agree with the joint statement from the Virginia House and Senate Democrats. Very serious and credible allegations have been made by two women against Lieutenant Governor Fairfax. He needs to resign.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) February 9, 2019
These credible and troubling allegations from Dr. Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson make it clear that Lt. Gov Fairfax should resign. My heart goes out to these brave women and their families.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) February 8, 2019
With this second serious and credible allegation of sexual assault, Justin Fairfax should resign. This is not a partisan issue.
— Senator Mazie Hirono (@maziehirono) February 8, 2019
Virginia Dem Reps. Don Beyer, Abigail Spanberger, Elaine Luria, Jennifer Wexton & Gerry Connolly: “For these reasons we believe that Justin Fairfax cannot continue to serve at Lt. Gov. Of Virginia, and should step aside.” pic.twitter.com/vxVVqzVrHc
— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) February 8, 2019
The calls for both Northam and Fairfax to resign would leave Attorney General Mark Herring to fill the office, but he too came under fire this week after he admitted to darkening his face to impersonate a rapper at a 1980 party. He apologized for “a callous and inexcusable lack of awareness and insensitivity.”
It’s currently unclear whether any of the Democratic Virginia leaders will resign, but it doesn’t look like the pressure from fellow Democrats will be letting up anytime soon.