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Virginia Lt. Gov.'s accuser willing to testify at impeachment hearings: lawyers

The Hill logo The Hill 5 days ago John Bowden
a man wearing a suit and tie: Virginia Lt. Gov.'s accuser willing to testify at impeachment hearings: lawyers © Getty Virginia Lt. Gov.'s accuser willing to testify at impeachment hearings: lawyers Lawyers representing a college professor who alleged Virginia Lieutenant Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) sexually assaulted her say their client is willing to testify at impeachment proceedings or to cooperate with law enforcement in an investigation of her claims.

In a statement Saturday night, attorneys Debra Katz and Lisa Banks write that Vanessa Tyson is "fully prepared" to testify under oath on her claim that Fairfax assaulted her at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston.

"In response to two credible claims of sexual assault, by women with no connection to one another, Lt. Governor Fairfax has claimed that the women lied about what he insists were

consensual sexual encounters and has baselessly and callously attempted to discredit these women," Katz and Banks write.

"We are confident that once the Virginia legislature hears Dr. Tyson's harrowing account of this sexual assault, the testimony of many corroborating witnesses, and evidence of his attempts to mislead the public about The Washington Post's decision not to run a story in 2018, it will conclude that he lacks the character, fitness and credibility to serve in any capacity," they continue.

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The statement from Tyson's attorneys come as multiple prominent Democrats including top 2020 presidential contenders such as Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) have called for Fairfax's resignation following a second woman's allegations of rape against Fairfax that became public this week.

A Democratic member of Virginia's House of Delegates said Friday that the legislature plans to introduce articles of impeachment against Fairfax unless he steps down. The allegations against the lieutenant governor come as Virginia's governor, Ralph Northam (D), and Attorney General Mark Herring (D) face their own scandals over admissions of past use of blackface.

"On Monday, I will be introducing articles of impeachment for Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax if he has not resigned before then," Del. Patrick Hope (D) wrote on Twitter.

Fairfax was also removed from his post as chairman of the Democratic Lieutenant Governors Association (DLGA) on Friday following the second accusation against him.

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