Virginia House Democrats have backed off on their calls for Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax to be impeached and now one of his accusers is speaking up to express what she thinks of that decision.
According to CBS News, Fairfax sexually assaulted two women, which prompted Democrat delegate Patrick Hope to threaten to introduce articles of impeachment against him.
“No question that violent sexual assault qualifies as an impeachable high crime,” Hope told reporters after drafting up language for his colleagues to take action against the Lt. Governor.
However, last Thursday, Virginia House Democrats said in a statement that they believe the investigation into Fairfax needed to “proceed unencumbered and outside the political arena.” Although they still believe Fairfax needs to resign, they clarified “we are willing to work in a bipartisan manner with members of the General Assembly on a path forward.”
Legal counsel for Meredith Watson, one of Fairfax’s accusers, spoke out against the decision, stating “Apparently, the Virginia House Democratic Caucus believes that courageous victims of rape need to be heard — just not by them. Ms. Watson is counting on the General Assembly to do the right thing and hold hearings now. These nonstop efforts to duck their role is pure cowardice. Sympathy is welcome, but action is needed.”
Watson, who claims the Lt. Gov had raped her while they were students at Duke in 2000, also wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post, in which she outlines what life has been like since she came forward.
In the piece she opens up about how she has “endured relentless scrutiny of my personal life and an unending, bitter flood of hurtful misinformation trumpeted by the media.”
Despite what she characterizes as the state legislature’s “inaction,” Watson says she is unwavering in her fight for justice and still willing to testify publicly under oath.
“I am frustrated by calls for an investigation rather than a public hearing into these matters,” she said. “Such ‘investigations’ are secret proceedings, out of the public eye, leaving victims vulnerable to selective leaks and smears. And we all know how such investigations end: with ‘inconclusive results.'”