Justin Fairfax dodges impeachment process, calls for 'independent investigation' of rape claims

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The governor's own troubles began when a racist image from his medical school yearbook went public on February 1.

TR: Now lieutenant governor, I'm going to ask you a question that is foremost in the minds of many people since the initial allegations against you, and a question that many organizations across the nation have been the most concerned with.

Northam, a pediatric neurologist, said that he considered quitting, but has decided he's "not going anywhere" because the state "needs someone that can heal" it.

But he acknowledged wearing blackface on a separate occasion that year while dressing up as Michael Jackson.

Mr Northam was asked why he initially apologised for the photo before backtracking and denying he was either in the picture.

"We take the allegations against Justin very seriously", Nashelsky said.

"African Americans are very angry at the double standard on full display in Virginia!".

Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of Virginia has been put on leave by his law firm as it investigates sexual assault charges against him, according to a report. Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring is also under fire for admitting to wearing blackface while an undergraduate student at the University of Virginia. And now, Justin Fairfax, the lieutenant governor of Virginia, is following that high-stakes precedent.

House Speaker Kirk Cox, the Republican who would become governor if all three Democrats stepped down, said it was too soon to say whether he would support the process of removing Fairfax from office.

- With files from the Associated Press.

The lieutenant governor was tipped to replace Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA), who faces calls to resign after a racist photo in his 1984 medical yearbook surfaced.

"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", the statement said. Of Herring, he said that "just like me, he has grown".

Two women who have accused Lt. Gov.

Her detailed description of an instance of consensual kissing-turned-forced oral sex is horrific, and even for an act that may have taken place before Fairfax entered politics, it's profoundly upsetting that such a man would think himself able and deserving of a leadership position.

It's possible that lawmakers will launch some sort of investigation of Fairfax, even if impeachment isn't immediately in the cards.

Fairfax denied the accusation, but then last week, another woman, Meredith Watson, "reluctantly" came forward to also accuse Fairfax of raping her.

Ralph Northam made his first public appearance on Saturday since defying calls a week ago to step down over a racist yearbook photograph, as his potential successor, a fellow Democrat, resisted growing pressure to quit over sexual assault allegations.

Northam's public response to the photo was freakish. Because it doesn't. To the contrary, every time Northam talks to a reporter, there's a serious risk - if not likelihood - that he'll say something false, absurd, assinine, tone-deaf, clueless and/or racially insensitive (at the minimum).