Accuser of Lt. Gov. willing to testify to Virginia lawmakers

Second woman accuses Virginia's Lt Governor of sexual assault

Virginia's Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam considered resigning amid a scandal that he once wore blackface, but the pediatric neurologist said Sunday that he's "not going anywhere" because the state "needs someone that can heal" it.

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"Fairfax can no longer fulfill his duties", the Democratic caucuses of both the state House and Senate said in a joint statement. The Virginia governor told King that he would support an investigation into the accusations and "if these accusations are determined to be true, I don't think he's going to have any other option but to resign". From there Northam claimed that because he has "strength", "courage" and "a moral compass", he was "not going anywhere".

I really don't get why Ralph Northam or his comms team thinks it helps him to communicate in public.

Although the Democratic Party has taken nearly a zero-tolerance approach to misconduct among its members in this #MeToo era, a housecleaning in Virginia could be costly to them: If all three Democrats resigned, Republican House Speaker Kirk Cox would become governor.

At the start of the week, Cox said there was little appetite among lawmakers to remove Northam through impeachment, saying resignation "would obviously be less pain for everyone".

Fairfax, 39, has said his encounter with a woman who accused him of forcing himself on her sexually in Boston in 2004 was entirely consensual.

Democratic lawmakers from Virginia have called on Fairfax to resign, as have Democratic senators Kirsten Gillibrand of NY and Cory Booker of New Jersey - both 2020 presidential contenders - among others.

Northam has been ignoring widespread calls to resign after a photo of a man in blackface standing next to someone in Ku Klux Klan robes surfaced in his 1984 medical school yearbook. On Sunday he tweeted out: "African Americans are very angry at the double standard on full display in Virginia!"

Republicans, including Trump, have predicted the scandal plaguing Virginia's top Democratic officials will give them the opportunity to make political gains in a state that's increasingly voted for Democrats in recent elections.

Since then, the state's No. 3 official, Attorney General Mark Herring, also admitted to appearing in blackface while at the University of Virginia in 1980.

Part of the issue may be that Northam is not the only prominent Democrat in Virginia state government to be hit with allegations of misbehavior.

The attorney for a woman who accuses Virginia's lieutenant governor of rape in 2000 says her client is willing to testify in front of the state legislature if an impeachment hearing takes place.

Northam seemed chastened and subdued as he described a week of grappling with what "white privilege" means, with the reality of African-American history, and with the personal failing of growing up after desegregation and the civil rights era while somehow not realising that donning blackface is offensive. Fairfax has asked the FBI to investigate the assault claims against him.

Approximately 47 percent of Virginians believe Northam should step down, according to a new poll conducted by The Washington Post-Schar School.

Watch the complete interview Monday starting at 7 a.m. "CBS This Morning".



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