Virginia Governor Ralph Northam isn’t the only politician in Richmond who is addressing serious allegations. Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax, who would succeed Northam if the embattled governor were to resign or be removed from office, is now denying allegations that he sexually assaulted a woman in 2004.
This isn’t a new development. The allegations have been known for months by the Washington Post and the ABC affiliate in Washington DC, according to 13 News Now:
The allegation involves an unsubstantiated claim of sexual assault against Fairfax during the Democratic National Convention in 2004. The claim was posted Sunday night on the same website that first published the racist photo from Gov. Northam’s yearbook.
The Washington Post, as well as our sister station WUSA9 in Washington D.C., have known about the claim for months, but have not been able to corroborate the allegations.
Fairfax released a statement regarding a report from Big League Politics, the same publication that broke the Northam yearbook story:
— Justin Fairfax (@LGJustinFairfax) February 4, 2019
As noted by Fairfax, there has been no corroboration of the claim.
Whether or not the allegation is true, it’s peculiar that Fairfax would release a statement before the story was picked up by other news sources. By denying the claim, he made it necessary to report on it, which few news outlets would have done without corroboration. Now, it’s a story because he addressed it in the first place.