The Bonfire of the Virginia Democratic Party, in GIFs

The Bonfire of the Virginia Democratic Party, in GIFs

Top Democrats running for president in 2020 called for Fairfax's resignation, including Sens.

New allegations from a woman named Meredith Watson, who claims Fairfax raped her in 2000 while the two were students at Duke University, prompted Democratic Virginia House of Delegates Member Patrick Hope to announce he plans to introduce articles of impeachment for Fairfax unless the Democratic lieutenant governor resigns by Monday.

Fairfax, 39, who is first in line to succeed the state's embattled governor, Ralph Northam, a fellow Democrat under intense pressure to resign for his admitted racially offensive behaviour, denied the latest accusation as "demonstrably false".

The drama following Virginia's state leadership is spiraling out of control as a second woman comes forward to accuse Fairfax of sexual assault. Northam said the experience, as well as week of reports highlighting his behavior, has taught him that the incident could be therapeutic.

Virginia Democrat Bobby Scott has told U.S. media that Prof Tyson had over a year ago told him some details about the alleged assault.

The statement said that the alleged previous rape had occurred during her sophomore year by an unnamed Duke men's basketball player, and that Watson had told Fairfax about it.

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said the "allegations against Justin Fairfax are serious and credible", and he can "no longer serve the people of Virginia as Lieutenant Governor".

Fairfax has denied both allegations, called them part of a "smear campaign", and said he won't step down.

Virginia Democratic representatives issued a joint statement demanding the lieutenant governor step aside.

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Faifax instead called on "all appropriate and impartial investigatory authorities, including the FBI, to investigate fully and thoroughly the allegations against me".

On Friday, a law firm representing the second woman, Meredith Watson, issued a statement on her behalf outlining her allegation.

"And the main point that this person told me is that at the end of the day, the white person - just as I was the white person that dressed up as an African-American dancer ... at the end of the day we can take that makeup off and go back to being white", he said.

But Friday's accusation sparked a round of calls for his resignation, and even the threat of impeachment. Northam has also defied calls from practically his entire party to step down. None of the lawmakers wanted to make the first move, and all operated behind the scenes to boost their own favor. The image shows a man in blackface beside someone in a Ku Klux Klan robe. He has vehemently denied the allegations. That openness dissipated as the week dragged on, as he rushed through the hallways of the Capitol and avoided questions on the graphic allegations against him. "Cyrus Habib (D-WA) and Bethany Hall-Long (D-DE) will replace Fairfax as interim co-chairs".

As the crisis widened by midweek, Democratic leaders appeared willing to give both Fairfax and Herring the benefit of the doubt for the time being - in Herring's case, because he apologized personally for wearing blackface. Instead of letting reporters break the news on his history with blackface, the attorney general admitted to it in a statement before anyone broke the story. Durham police spokesman Wil Glenn also said he couldn't find a report in the department's system on the 2000 allegation.

And all of this because Northam chose to make some awful remarks about a Virginia Democratic bill that would have permitted abortion virtually up until the moment of birth.

"If they are all three there around the next statewide elections, it is really problematic", the Democrat said.

The operative added: "I think where we are today doesn't cause permanent damage, but if they stick around then it could".

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