(Richmond, Va.) — A local legislator believes Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax deserves a proper hearing before the General Assembly proceeds with impeachment proceedings.
Danville Delegate Danny Marshall, a Republican, says he thinks Faixfax should be allowed to answer his accusers before the General Assembly passes judgment on the lieutenant governor. Two women have alleged that they were sexually assaulted by Fairfax in the 2000s.
Marshall said legislators should proceed with caution, adding: “I hate to see anybody that’s caught up and just because the public says you’re guilty, he resigns. I saw this happening with (Brett) Kavanaugh when he was being nominated for the Supreme Court.” Marshall adds that “a lot of allegations (against Kavanaugh) came out that were not true. I don’t know if these are true with Fairfax or not, so that’s why I think he needs to have his court date to see if he’s guilty or not-guilty.”
Three women publicly accused then Supreme Court Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, of sexual assault or misconduct. He was later confirmed to the high court after he and accuser Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Meanwhile, the lawyer representing one of the women who has accused Fairfax of sexual assault is urging state lawmakers not to delay a public hearing on the matter. Attorney Nancy Erika Smith released the statement Monday on behalf of Meredith Watson after it became clear that lawmakers are not moving forward anytime soon with impeachment proceedings against Fairfax. Smith said Fairfax should have to testify publicly. There’s been no indication so far that legislative leaders want public hearings on the matter.
The statement comes hours after Democratic state Del. Patrick Hope balked at a threat to introduce articles of impeachment against Fairfax if he did not resign by Monday, saying he changed his mind after speaking with the members of the Democratic caucus and now wants more conversations to take place before he files anything.