A Virginia lawmaker has backed off his push to begin impeachment proceedings against beleaguered Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, who is embroiled in controversy over a pair of sexual assault allegations.
Democratic Del. Patrick Hope said in a tweet early Monday that he’d retreated in his call for Fairfax’s swift ouster after receiving “an enormous amount of sincere and thoughtful feedback” from colleagues.
Hope reasoned that he now sees the need for “additional conversations … [that] need to take place before anything is filed” against Fairfax, Virginia’s highest-ranking Black official.
Two women accused Fairfax of sexual assaults that allegedly took place in the early 2000s. The accusations came days after a photo surfaced of Gov. Ralph Northam’s 1984 medical school yearbook page that showed one person in blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan hood and robe. Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, who admitted to once dressing in blackface, has also come under fire.
The three elected officials, all Democrats, maintain that they will not resign their posts. Fairfax, meanwhile, has called for an FBI investigation while categorically denying the accusations against him.