The Virginia General Assembly’s Upcoming Special Session Could Take a Lurid Turn
The special General Assembly session set for July 9 was already set up to be an exercise in political cynicism. But now it might take a lurid detour into the sexual assault allegations against Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D).
House Court of Justice Committee chairman Rob Bell (R-Albemarle) reissued his call for Democrats to join with the GOP in holding hearings into Fairfax. It might not be an impeachment hearing, but it would be close enough for politics.
House Democratic leader Eileen Filler-Corn (Fairfax) rejected Bell’s invitation as a “political game” and “partisan sideshow.”
I wrote in February that such hearings would be a political trap for Republicans and for Fairfax. Even if both sides avoided the snares, no tidy ending would result.
But Fairfax needs one — and he’s pushing matters forward to get it.
His attorney sent letters to prosecutors in North Carolina and Massachusetts on June 12 pushing them to investigate the allegations against him. The Post’s Laura Vozzella reported that Fairfax offered to testify under oath in either or both jurisdictions. Fairfax’s attorney said one of the accusers was attempting to “blackmail [Fairfax] into resigning.” Obviously, Fairfax wants to erase doubts about his past conduct, and there are questions about the statute of limitations.
But perhaps to get a better sense of the politics behind all this, we need to turn to June 11 primaries. And the improbable return of Joe Morrissey.
Morrissey carries a profound disdain for the Democratic establishment that tried like hell to keep him from winning the 16th Senate District Democratic primary. He was running against incumbent Rosalyn R. Dance. The same establishment back in February said Fairfax needed to go.
Morrissey said Fairfax deserves due process, something the lieutenant governor has repeatedly argued.
In an April radio interview, then-candidate Morrissey said, “Just because someone [or in this case, two women] makes an allegation doesn’t make it factually correct.”
Morrissey knows a thing or two about due process and scandal and the politics of both.