Accusers of Dem Va. Lt. Governor Willing to Testify for Impeachment

by Garry Watts February 12, 2019, 0:57
Accusers of Dem Va. Lt. Governor Willing to Testify for Impeachment

The Virginia governor is already under pressure to resign after a photo emerged of his yearbook page featuring two people, one in blackface and one dressed as a Ku Klux Klan member.

He sat down with "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King for his first television interview about the controversy.

The state capitol has been plunged into turmoil by the twin scandals.

Hope, the white Democratic lawmaker who had called for Fairfax's impeachment, renewed his call for the lieutenant governor to resign while saying he was discussing whether impeachment was the best solution.

Watson alleges Fairfax raped her while they were students at Duke University in 2000, her attorney said in a statement.

Northam said Fairfax would have to step aside if sexual assault allegations against him were found to be true.

Another black lawmaker, who he also declined to name, made a powerful point about white privilege, Northam said: That a white person who makes a mistake gets a second chance, while a black person might not.

Two women have accused Fairfax of sexual assault.

Ralph Northam places hand over his heart at a funeral for a state trooper Saturday in Chilhowie, Va., during one of his first public appearances since the blackface scandal broke.

Attorneys Debra S. Katz and Lisa J. Banks released the statement Saturday night on behalf of Vanessa Tyson, a California college professor, who said Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax forced her to perform oral sex on him at a Boston hotel in 2004.

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Lieutenant Gov. Justin Fairfax faces allegations of sexual assault which he vehemently denies. The polling was conducted before the second sexual allegation against Fairfax.

"A historian advised me that the use of indentured was more historically accurate-the fact is, I'm still learning and committed to getting it right", Northam said.

"When you're in a state of shock like I was, we don't always think as clearly as we should", Mr Northam said.

Northam told CBS it must have taken tremendous courage for the women to come forward, and that he supported Fairfax's call for an investigation.

Northam responds, "Yes. While we have made a lot of progress in Virginia - slavery has ended, schools have been desegregated, we have ended the Jim Crow laws, easier access to voting - it is abundantly clear that we still have a lot of work to do", Northam told King. In addition to the emergence of a picture on Northam's yearbook page showing a person in a KKK costume standing next to a person in blackface - which Northam denied being in - Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring said that he had worn blackface to a party and reports said that State Senator Tommy Norment had edited a yearbook containing racist slurs. Northam had later acknowledged he wore blackface at a separate event in the 1980s, dressing up as Michael Jackson for a dance contest.

There have been wide calls for Fairfax, an African-American, to quit in the wake of the assault allegations, but he has refused and instead called for an investigation.

GOVERNOR RALPH NORTHAM (CBS THIS MORNING/D-Virginia/@GovernorVA): Well, it has been a hard week.

"Virginia needs someone that can heal", Northam said.

If Fairfax were to leave, there's no consensus on who could replace him.

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