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Fresh developments in Virginia political crises as woman who accused Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assault hires law firm Christine Blasey Ford used in her allegations against Brett Kavanaugh

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‘Virginia Democratic crises deepens as Attorney General Mark Herring admitted Wednesday that he, too, as a young man darkened his face for a college costume party, days after calling for Gov. Ralph Northam to resign over a similar misstep’
Vanessa Tyson reportedly hired same law firm Dr. Christine Blasey Ford used in her allegations against Brett Kavanaugh
Tyson has accused Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexually assaulting her during the DNC Convention in Boston in 2004 when they were both campaign staffers
Fairfax denied forcing her into oral sex, maintaining the allegations are without merit because the encounter was consensual
Tyson hired Katz, Marshall and Banks, a Washington D.C. law firm Ford hired when she came forward during Kavanaugh’s confirmation process
Justin Fairfax, 39, was the personal aide to John Edwards, who was then the vice-presidential candidate , when the incident allegedly, took place at the 2004
The charge the Lt Gov came in the wake of calls for Gov. Ralph Northam to resign over a racist photo that appeared in the governor’s medical school yearbook
Fairfax would become governor should Northam step down
Wednesday morning, Virginia Attorney General, Democrat  Mark Herring, who is  third in line of succession admitted he also had a racist photograph from 39 years ago
Job of state governor moves next to House Speaker M. Kirkland Cox, a Republican, before a vote in the legislative body to fill the vacancy if the trio ahead of him falter
The woman who accused the lieutenant governor of Virginia of sexually assaulting her 15 years ago hired the same law firm that represented professor Christine Blasey Ford in her allegations against supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, late last year.
In a private social media posting Vanessa Tyson has aired allegations that Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax sexually assaulted her during the Democrat National Convention in Boston in 2004,when they were both campaign staffers.
On Sunday she gave permission to make public a post where she said: ‘Imagine you were sexually assaulted during the DNC Convention in Boston in 2004 by a campaign staffer.
‘You spend the next 13 years trying to forget it ever happened. Until one day to find out he’s the Democratic candidate for statewide office in a state some 3000 miles away, and we wins that election in November 2017.
‘Then by some strange, horrible luck, it seems increasingly likely that he’ll get a VERY BIG promotion.’

Lt. Gov. Fairfax has denied the allegation that he forced Tyson into oral sex in a hotel room during the 2004 Democratic national convention – a claim which has further plunged the state’s two top Democrats into crisis.
The charge against Fairfax, 39, came in the wake of calls for Gov. Ralph Northam to resign over a racist photo that appeared in the governor’s medical school yearbook.

Ordinarily, Fairfax would become governor should Northam step down. Next in line would be state Attorney General, Mark Herring, who Wednesday came out to confirm that he too has a Black face photograph floating out there. The incident was recorded in 1980 when he was 19.

The Stanford researcher Tyson has hired Katz, Marshall and Banks, a Washington, D.C.-based firm, and is consulting with them about her next steps, NPR reported. The same firm Blasey Ford hired when she came forward during Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation process with allegations he assaulted her when the two were in high school. Kavanaugh denied her charges and ultimately was confirmed.

The dual charges against the top two Democrats in Virginia – racism against the governor and sexual assault against the lieutenant governor – has put Richmond’s Capitol building under a national spotlight, left Democrats in disarray, and halted state government.
A veteran Virginia Democrat on Monday texted CNN video of a smoldering dumpster fire.
‘I should clarify,’ the person wrote. ‘This isn’t a dumpster fire anymore because that would be unfair to dumpster fires.’
Fairfax, who’s holding his first elective office, stood his ground in the state Capitol building on Monday.
He claims the encounter in question was ‘a 100 percent consensual.’
The incident took place at the 2004 convention in Boston, when Fairfax was the personal aide to John Edwards, who was then the Democratic vice-presidential candidate to John Kerry.
‘We hit it off, she was very interested in me, and so eventually, at one point, we ended up going to my hotel room,’ he said.

At one point on Monday, the lieutenant governor suggested Northam’s supporters were behind the allegation in an attempt to block his rise to the governorship as Northam buys time while he weighs his options.
‘Does anybody think it’s any coincidence that on the eve of potentially my being elevated that that’s when this smear comes out?’ Fairfax told reporters in the state Capitol. Hours later day he walked back the innuendo, telling reporters he had ‘no indication’ that Northam was responsible.

An Northam adviser denied the governor was not behind the revelation and said they were too busy at the moment to plot such a move.
Fairfax and Northam are not politically close. He ran separately on the 2017 ballot from Northam and was not tapped by him to be lieutenant governor, instead winning a primary contest to become the nominee.
Fairfax also claimed in a written statement that the Washington Post had investigated the claim when he ran for lieutenant governor but had not pursued it because of ‘significant red flags and inconsistencies within the allegations.’
This version has been disputed b and descibed as ‘incorrect’ by the Washington Post, which said it had not been able to corroborate either version and had not found any ‘red flags’ in the claimant’s account.

The Post did not name the claimant, but the conservative website Big League Politics which first revealed how Northam had a picture on his medical school yearbook page of a man in blackface beside a man in a KKK outfit – revealed how Vanessa Tyson, a Stanford academic, had hinted at accusing Fairfax of assault.
It published a private social media posting made on Sunday, which Tyson was said to have given permission to make public, which said: ‘Imagine you were sexually assaulted during the DNC Convention in Boston in 2004 by a campaign staffer.
‘You spend the next 13 years trying to forget it ever happened. Until one day you find out he’s the Democratic candidate for statewide office in a state some 3000 miles away, and we wins that election in November 2017.
‘Then by some strange, horrible luck, it seems increasingly likely that he’ll get a VERY BIG promotion.’
Tyson lives in Los Angeles, roughly 3,000 miles from Virginia, and the biographical details align with Fairfax.

Tyson is a Scripps College professor who is currently a Stanford fellow. Her fellowship is focusing, according to the college’s website, on ‘politics and policies surrounding sexual violence against women and children in the United States.
‘More specifically, she will explore political discourse surrounding sexual assault, corresponding policies, and the unique identities of sexual assault survivors.’

In her social media posts, Vanessa Tyson calls herself a sex assault survivor. She has used Twitter to pass comment extensively on issues around sexual assault, including the Brett Kavanaugh nomination hearing

It notes that Tyson, a Princeton and University of Chicago graduate, has volunteered as an advocate for sexual violence awareness and prevention.
Fairfax and the Washington Post both confirmed that the newspaper investigated allegations of an assault at the convention – although neither named the alleged victim.
The account given in the Post said that the woman was left ‘crying and shaken.’
‘She said Fairfax guided her to the bed, where they continued kissing, and then at one point she realized she could not move her neck,’ the newspaper reported.
‘She said Fairfax used his strength to force her to perform oral sex.’
The Washington Post said Monday that it was approached by the woman in 2017 and carefully investigated but never published a story for lack of any independent evidence.

Tyson who has accused Fairfax of sexual assault hired the same law firm that Christine Blasey Ford [left] hired when she came forward with her accusation against Brett Kavanaugh [right], a Republican, during his Supreme Court confirmation
Vanessa Tyson and Nancy Pelosi 1Vanessa Tyson seen [left] with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, reportedly had not told anyone about the alleged sexual assault, hence the Post said they could not corroborate her account of the incident. Justin Fairfax denied it was rape, insisting it was consensual
The Washington Post said the claimant did not provide independent contemporaneous corroboration  because she told anyone about the alleged assault.
Justin Fairfax in his denial has maintained their liaison in his Boston hotel room was consensual. The paper was unable to find other similar allegations against Fairfax among people who knew him in college, law school or in politics.
reacting to the allegations, The Lt Gov. at the state capitol told reporters it was a ‘smear.’ He was addressing the media as Northam held talks with his cabinet, not including Fairfax, over whether he should quit after the blackface revelations.
The governor held on over the weekend despite a disastrous three days which saw him first admit he was in the yearbook picture, then deny it, then admit he put on shoe polish to impersonate Michael Jackson, use a press conference to say it was difficult to get off, and only be stopped by his wife from Moonwalking, and be called on to resign by dozens of senior Democrats.
39-year-old Fairfax who has experienced a meteoric rise through Virginia politics, is poised to take over from Northam if the governor is compelled to resign.
After John Kerry failed to capture the White House in 2004, Fairfax joined a D.C. law firm and then went on to become a federal prosecutor in Alexandria, Va.
He ran for state attorney general in 2013. Although he lost in the primary, his strong performance impressed Democratic insiders and he ran for lieutenant governor in 2017.
Fairfax’s supporters have touted him as a fresh face whose charisma has allowed him to connect with voters. His detractors suggest he is unproven and inexperienced.

Northam remains behind-closed doors with staff and family, defying a call from national Democrats to resign while weighing his public support.
He is said to be weighing whether he could be an effective governor if he stays on while also worried he would be labeled a racist for life if he quits. No Virginia governor has ever resigned before.
Should Northam step down, Fairfax would ascend to the highest office in the state as its second African American governor and try to lead state Democrats in their recovery from Northam’s racial scandal.
Although Virginia has a one-term limit for governors, Fairfax would likely be allowed to run again in 2021 because he was not actually elected governor in 2017.
If Fairfax also falls over the sexual assault allegations, Attorney General Mark Herring would be put in charge. However the third option for the Democrats is now in the throes of his own blackface scandal.

Mark Herring 1Att. Gen. Mark Herring [photo], was being discussed as another possible successor to Gov. Ralph Northam if Lt Gov. Justin Fairfax is hindered by sexual assault allegations. He too may have been caught up in the political maelstrom, it appears

Herring has just admitted he has similar racist photographs Days after Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam admitted to donning blackface as part of a costume decades ago, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring admitted Wednesday that he, too, as a young man darkened his face for a college costume party.
“In 1980, when I was a 19-year-old undergraduate in college, some friends suggested we attend a party dressed like rappers we listened to at the time, like Kurtis Blow, and perform a song.
“It sounds ridiculous even now writing it. But because of our ignorance and glib attitudes — and because we did not have an appreciation for the experiences and perspectives of others — we dressed up and put on wigs and brown makeup,” Herring wrote in a statement.
“This was a onetime occurrence and I accept full responsibility for my conduct.”

ap_19035590516793House Speaker M. Kirkland Cox, [photo],  a Republican, becomes interim Governor should Northam step down and both Fairfax and Herring, all Democrats, can not fill the post

Herring was among the Democrats who had called for Northam to resign over the weekend when a picture surfaced of his medical school yearbook showing one person in blackface and another dressed as a Klansman.
Herring told the legislative black caucus about the matter in a hastily called closed-door meeting Wednesday morning after rumors began circulating about a photo of him in blackface decades ago. The attorney general showed the picture to the African-American lawmakers and apologized.
The job of state governor moves next to Kirkland Cox [R], the Speaker of the House of Delegates , a Republican, before a vote in the legislative body to fill the vacancy if the in-line office holders are unable to do the job.

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