A woman accusing Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D-VA) of sexual assault has hired the law firm that represented Christine Blasey Ford, the California psychology professor who brought forth a decades-old and uncorroborated claim of sexual misconduct against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
According to the Associated Press, the woman has retained Washington, D.C., law firm Katz Marshall & Banks and is consulting with the firm about next steps, citing a person close to the legal team who was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity. One of the firm’s founding partners, Debra Katz, represented Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her decades ago when they were teenagers. Kavanaugh denied the allegation and later was confirmed to the court.
On Monday, Fairfax hinted that Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) is responsible for the resurfacing of sexual assault allegation against him to prevent his own ouster. The alleged incident purportedly occurred during the 2004 Democrat National Convention. Breitbart News has not reported details of the allegation because they have notbeen corroborated.
Asked whether he suspects Northam is responsible for the allegation’s revival, Fairfax told reporters: “Does anybody think it’s any coincidence that on the eve of potentially my being elevated that that’s when this uncorroborated smear comes out?”
Earlier Monday, Fairfax issued a statement of denial, affirming that he “has never assaulted anyone – ever – in any way, shape or form.”
“Lt. Governor Fairfax has an outstanding and well-earned reputation for treating people with dignity and respect,” the statement said. “This is part of the sad and dark politics that the Lt. Governor has dedicated himself to helping Virginia and the nation rise above,” the statement continued.
Fairfax warned he would take “appropriate legal action against those attempting to spread this defamatory and false allegation.”
The development comes as Northam faces calls from leading Democrats and Republicans to resign after the emergence of his medical school yearbook page featuring a person in blackface standing next to a person in a Ku Klux Klan outfit. By the time the Democrat governor held a press conference to defend himself, both the national and state party had also demanded he step aside. The website Big League Politics first reported on the photo, which was later verified by the Virginian-Pilot and the Washington Post.
According to the Post, citing two sources at Big League Politics, a former classmate of Northam tipped off the website about the photo in response to his support of proposed legislation that would allow fourth-trimester abortion.
If Northam were to resign and Fairfax was not in a position to assume the office, the governorship would go to the Democrat attorney general, a set of dominoes that has unleashed chaos in Virginia’s capital.
Democratic presidential aspirants were notably silent on Fairfax. The party also stood with Keith Ellison as the then-congressman successfully ran for Minnesota attorney general last year despite allegations that he had abused an ex-girlfriend. Ellison also strongly denied those accusations.
Sexual harassment allegations have also rattled the potential presidential field. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who is mulling a second presidential run, apologized to staffers for sexual harassment allegedly committed by workers on his 2016 presidential campaign. On Saturday, Gov. Steve Bullock (D-MT), another possible contender, apologized for not stopping a staffer he fired for sexual harassment from landing a job in the New York mayor’s office.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.