Political Editors / April 5, 2019

VA Dems Avoid Seeking the Truth on Lt. Gov.

Dems refuse to hold hearings into sexual-assault allegations raised against Justin Fairfax.

Due process is an essential feature for any system of jurisprudence that aims to fairly arrive at a just outcome. But due process is also a “process,” meaning it takes specific, direct, and measured actions in an attempt to move toward discerning truth and arriving at a just outcome. By its very design, due process puts the brakes on any emotional rush to judgment; however, it also doesn’t avoid the responsibility to make legitimate inquiry into serious allegations because it may prove politically damaging to the party.

Weeks ago, the commonwealth of Virginia’s top three Democrats found themselves all embroiled in scandals. Both the governor’s and the attorney general’s scandals related to racist behavior from decades earlier when they were each in school. Their behavior was arguably scandalous, but it wasn’t even remotely criminal. However, the same cannot be said of the scandal in which Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax found himself.

Recall that back when it looked as if Gov. Ralph Northam was about to step down due to a racist college photograph, which would have essentially paved the way for Fairfax to take over, two women seemingly came out of nowhere and accused Fairfax of having sexually assaulted them years ago. Suddenly, Democrats — some of whom had been calling for Northam’s resignation — were caught in a bind. Would they support their stated anti-racist and #MeToo principle over and against their own party?

Well, that question has been answered, even as Democrats would love for everyone to simply forget that the embarrassing scandals ever occurred. Northam is still in office and so is Fairfax. And while the controversy has quieted around Northam, Fairfax’s scandal won’t go away so easily, even though Democrats in Virginia’s legislature refuse to investigate.

Virginia Speaker Kirk Cox noted on Tuesday that legislative Democrats refuse to hold any public hearings into the sexual-assault allegations against Fairfax. Cox explained, “Over the course of the last few weeks, we have communicated with attorneys representing Dr. Vanessa Tyson and Ms. Meredith Watson. Through those conversations, they have told us that Dr. Tyson and Ms. Watson are prepared to share their accounts at a legislative hearing, but only if there is bipartisan cooperation to conduct the hearing.”

However, Cox complained that his attempt to set up a bipartisan subcommittee was to no avail due to the fact that “our Democratic colleagues stated their opposition to a hearing.” So, what excuse have the Democrats given for not being willing to hold a bipartisan hearing? Due process. They are claiming that to engage in public hearings would violate Fairfax’s due-process rights.

Brett Kavanaugh, call your office.

But as Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey astutely observes, “Everyone claims to want ‘due process’ in dealing with these allegations. There is only one due-process path left open to Fairfax and his accusers at this late date, and that is through legislative hearings into the matter. Cox has been trying to meet that demand, but Virginia Democrats would prefer to sweep Fairfax under the rug and deny his accusers their opportunity to hold him accountable within the law.”

So, the question remains: Do Democrats really believe all women, or is it only when it’s politically convenient to do so?

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