Politicians, including Democratic 2020 candidates, are calling on Justin Fairfax to resign

FILE- In this Sept. 25, 2018, file photo, Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax gestures during remarks before a meeting of the Campaign to reduce evictions at a church meeting room in Richmond, Va. A California woman has accused Fairfax of sexually assaulting her 15 years ago, saying in a statement Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019, that she repressed the memory for years but came forward in part because of the possibility that Fairfax could succeed a scandal-mired governor.  (AP Photo/Steve Helber)FILE- In this Sept. 25, 2018, file photo, Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax gestures during remarks before a meeting of the Campaign to reduce evictions at a church meeting room in Richmond, Va. A California woman has accused Fairfax of sexually assaulting her 15 years ago, saying in a statement Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019, that she repressed the memory for years but came forward in part because of the possibility that Fairfax could succeed a scandal-mired governor. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)Associated Press

  • On Friday, a second woman came forward alleging she was sexually assaulted by Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax
  • Meredith Watson released a statement through her attorney, claiming Fairfax raped her in 2000 when they were both attending Duke University.
  • "At this time, Ms. Watson is reluctantly coming forward out of a strong sense of civic duty and her belief that those seeking or serving in public office should be of the highest character," the statement said. 
  • Another woman, Dr. Vanessa Tyson, came forward earlier this week with allegations against Fairfax. She alleges he assaulted her in 2004.
  • Fairfax has denied these allegations.
  • Politicians, including several who are running for president, are now calling on Fairfax to resign.

Lawmakers - including several Democratic presidential hopefuls - along with others are calling on Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, a Democrat, to resign, after a second woman came forward with allegations of sexual assault.

Meredith Watson released a statement through her attorney, claiming Fairfax raped her in 2000 when they were both attending Duke University. According to the statement, the two were friends but not in a romantic relationship.

"Ms. Watson shared her account of the rape with friends in a series of emails and Facebook messages that are now in our possession," her lawyer said. "Additionally, we have statements from former classmates corroborating that Ms. Watson immediately told friends that Mr. Fairfax had raped her."

Earlier this week, Dr. Vanessa Tyson, a professor at Scripps College in California and a fellow at Stanford University, came forward with allegations of sexual assault. The accusation was first made public by the conservative-leaning site Big League Politics. On Wednesday, she released a statement detailing the assault, which she says happened in Boston in 2004.

Fairfax has vehemently denied these allegations calling them "demonstrably false" and a "smear campaign" and saying he will not resign. 

"I demand a full investigation into these unsubstantiated and false allegations," Fairfax's spokesperson told INSIDER in a statement. "Such an investigation will confirm my account because I am telling the truth."

The accusations against Fairfax come at a time when Virginia leadership is in turmoil. Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam has refused to resign amidst the resurfacing of a photo in his 1984 medical school yearbook, where he is allegedly either in blackface or dressed in a Ku Klux Klan-like robe. After initially saying he was in the photo, he denied being in that specific photo, but said he did wear blackface when dressing up as Michael Jackson for a dance contest. Virginia's attorney general also admitted this week to wearing blackface in the 1980.

The list of those calling for Fairfax's resignation is below, and we'll update as needed.

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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand a Democrat from New York, and presidential candidate called for Lt. Gov. Fairfax to resign, via a statement on Twitter:

My statement below on Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax: pic.twitter.com/chu4oSdnbh

— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) February 8, 2019

Sen. Cory Booker a Democrat from New Jersey

Sen. Cory Booker a Democrat from New Jersey

Sen. Cory Booker, a presidential hopeful, called for Fairfax to resign on Friday.

"The multiple detailed allegations against the Lt. Gov. of Virginia are deeply troubling," Booker said on Twitter. "They are serious, credible, and corroborated by others. It is no longer appropriate for him to serve. He should resign."

Sen. Elizabeth Warren a Democrat from Massachusetts

Sen. Elizabeth Warren a Democrat from Massachusetts

"These credible and troubling allegations from Dr. Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson make it clear that Lt. Gov Fairfax should resign," Warren, who has launched exploratory committee into running for president in 2020, said on Twitter.

"My heart goes out to these brave women and their families."

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe

"The allegations against Justin Fairfax are serious and credible," McAuliffe said in a tweet.

"It is clear to me that he can no longer effectively serve the people of Virginia as Lieutenant Governor. I call for his immediate resignation."

Sen. Mazie Hirono a Democrat from Hawaii

Sen. Mazie Hirono a Democrat from Hawaii

"With this second serious and credible allegation of sexual assault, Justin Fairfax should resign," Hirono said in a tweet on Friday. "This is not a partisan issue."

"Just as with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, it took a lot of courage for Dr. Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson to come forward to be heard," the senator continued. "Their courage is part of the change we need and the responsibility we all share to end the scourge of sexual violence in our country."

Five Democrats from the House of Representatives from Virginia

Five Democrats from the House of Representatives from Virginia

Five Democratic members of Congress from Virginia, Reps. Don Beyer, Abigail Spanberger, Elaine Luria, Jennifer Wexton, and Gerry Connolly, released a joint statement about Fairfax.

"The allegations raised by Dr. Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson raise two fundamental questions, which Virginia's leaders are called to answer: do we believe them, and, if so, do we believe that Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax should continue to serve?" the five ask in their statement.

"All survivors of sexual violence and harassment deserve to be supported and heard, and our commitment to that principle is more important than any political consideration," they continue in their statement.

"For these reasons, we believe that Justin Fairfax cannot continue to serve as Lt. Governor of Virginia and should step aside."

Rep. Jennifer Wexton a Democrat from Virginia

Rep. Jennifer Wexton a Democrat from Virginia

Additionally, Rep. Wexton, who previously served in the Virginia state senate, called for Fairfax to step down on Twitter.

"I believe Dr. Vanessa Tyson," she said. "I believe Meredith Watson. And I believe Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax must resign."

Rep. Gerry Connolly a Democrat from Virginia

Rep. Gerry Connolly a Democrat from Virginia

Along with joining the joint statement, Rep. Connolly of the 11th District of Virginia, released the following statement:

My statement on Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax: pic.twitter.com/7PGzUfIdqs

— Gerry Connolly (@GerryConnolly) February 8, 2019

Rep. Ted Lieu a Democrat from California

Rep. Ted Lieu a Democrat from California

"I have reviewed the publicity available information regarding sexual assault allegations made by Dr. Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson," Rep. Lieu said. "I believe Dr. Tyson. I believe Ms. Watson. Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax must resign."

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