Politics: Possible impeachment could further upend Virginia politics - PressFrom - US

PoliticsPossible impeachment could further upend Virginia politics

12:25  11 february  2019
12:25  11 february  2019 Source:   msn.com

Trump says "only way" Democrats can win is to "bring out" impeachment

Trump says "The only thing I've done is created, maybe, the best economy we've had in the history of our country," Trump told CBS News

RICHMOND, Va . (AP) — Tim Kaine's selection as Hillary Clinton's running mate could totally upend Virginia politics , and would all Other Democrats who have been mentioned as possible candidates include Reps. Don Beyer, Gerry Connolly, and Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Molly Ward.

Formal efforts to start the process of impeachment against U.S. President Donald Trump, who took office in 2017, have been initiated by Representatives Al Green and Brad Sherman, both Democrats.

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia lawmakers on Monday will reluctantly face the unprecedented prospect of impeaching the state's second most powerful leader as they struggle to address revelations of past racist behavior and allegations of sexual assault roiling its highest levels of office.

Justin Fairfax, Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor, Denies Sexual Assault Allegation

Justin Fairfax, Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor, Denies Sexual Assault Allegation Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of Virginia issued a statement Monday morning denying an unsubstantiated allegation of sexual assault that a right-wing media site published amid extraordinary political turmoil in the state that has raised the possibility of Mr. Fairfax becoming the next governor. Sign Up For the Morning Briefing Newsletter In a statement issued at 2:55 a.m., aides to Mr. Fairfax — a Democrat who has drawn national attention as Gov. Ralph Northam considers resigning over past racist behavior — said the allegation was “false” and that Mr. Fairfax had “never assaulted anyone — ever — in any way, shape or form.

Impeachment is the process by which a legislative body levels charges against a government official. It does not mean removal from office; it is only a statement of charges

Impeachment can also occur at the state level. Each state's legislature can impeach state officials In the United Kingdom, impeachment was a procedure whereby a member of the House of In 2018, the entire Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia was impeached , something that has been

At least one lawmaker said he will try to pursue impeachment of Democratic Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax after two women accused Fairfax of sexual assault in the 2000s, a move that experts believe would be a first in Virginia. Fairfax has vehemently denied the claims and called for authorities, including the FBI, to investigate.

There's little sign of broad appetite for impeachment, with lawmakers set to finish this year's session by the month's end. But the Legislature is swirling with questions about lines of succession and the political fallout for Democrats should the governor, lieutenant governor or attorney general leave office, willingly or not.

Virginia Lt. Gov.'s accuser willing to testify at impeachment hearings: lawyers

Virginia Lt. Gov.'s accuser willing to testify at impeachment hearings: lawyers Lawyers representing a college professor who alleged Virginia Lieutenant Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) sexually assaulted her say their client is willing to testify at impeachment proceedings or to cooperate with law enforcement in an investigation of her claims. 

Tim Kaine's selection as Hillary Clinton's running mate could totally upend Virginia politics .

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton's pick for vice president, waves to the crowd before attending a private fundraiser event in Newport, RI RICHMOND, Va . - Tim Kaine’s selection as Hillary Clinton’s running mate could totally upend Virginia politics and would all but certainly result in the

Gov. Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring, both Democrats, are embroiled in their own scandal after acknowledging they wore blackface in the 1980s . Northam, a pediatric neurologist, said Sunday that he considered resigning but that he's "not going anywhere" because the state "needs someone that can heal" it.

Northam said on CBS' "Face the Nation" that it's been a difficult week since a racist photo in his 1984 medical school yearbook surfaced, showing a person wearing blackface next to another person in a Ku Klux Klan hood and robe. Northam initially said he was in the photo, then denied it the next day, while acknowledging he did wear blackface to a dance party that same year.

"Virginia needs someone that can heal. There's no better person to do that than a doctor," Northam said. "Virginia also needs someone who is strong, who has empathy, who has courage and who has a moral compass. And that's why I'm not going anywhere."

Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax could face articles of impeachment Monday

Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax could face articles of impeachment Monday The second accusation of sexual assault against Fairfax has prompted one lawmaker to threaten impeachment proceedings against the lieutenant governor.

Impeachment does not mean expulsion from office. Under the constitution, impeachment happens in the House of Representatives if a majority Both Johnson and Clinton were impeached in the House but then acquitted in the Senate and remained in office. What can a president be impeached for?

An impeachment proceeding is the formal process by which a sitting president of the United States may be accused of wrongdoing. The process begins in the U.S. House of Representatives, where any member of the House may make a suggestion to launch an impeachment proceeding.

The scandals have become a full-blown crisis for Virginia Democrats. Although the party has taken an almost zero-tolerance approach to sexual misconduct in the #MeToo era, a housecleaning in Virginia could be costly: If all three Democrats resigned, Republican state House Speaker Kirk Cox would become governor.

Political considerations will be key to what comes next. Virginia is among a handful of states electing lawmakers this year, and Democrats had hoped to flip the Republican-controlled General Assembly.

Democratic Del. Patrick Hope said he wants to introduce articles of impeachment Monday against Fairfax, who is black. Meredith Watson and Vanessa Tyson have accused him of sexual assault and offered to testify at any impeachment hearing.

The Associated Press generally does not name people who say they are victims of sexual assault, but both women have come forward voluntarily.

Watson alleges Fairfax raped her while they were students at Duke University in 2000, her attorney said in a statement. Tyson, a California college professor, accused Fairfax of forcing her to perform oral sex on him at a Boston hotel in 2004.

Virginia delegate plans to introduce articles of impeachment against Fairfax

Virginia delegate plans to introduce articles of impeachment against Fairfax Virginia delegate Patrick Hope has outlined his plans to offer up articles of impeachment against Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax. In an email to his House Democratic colleagues, Hope says he plans to file a resolution first thing Monday morning that lists the reasons he believes that Fairfax's conduct warrants removal from office. The embattled lieutenant governor of Virginia was accused by two women of sexual assault, including rape by one of the women. Fairfax released a statement on Saturday acknowledging both interactions with the women, but said both instances were consensual.

Tim Kaine, Virginia senator and former governor, appeared for the first time with Hillary Clinton after she chose Kaine as her running mate. Tim Kaine's selection as Hillary Clinton's running mate could totally upend Virginia politics , and would all but certainly result in the most expensive election cycle

WASHINGTON — Upset about the investigation into Russian interference in last year’s election, President Trump sought relief from James B. Comey, then the F.B.I. director. By Mr. Comey’s account, Mr. Trump asked him to help “lift the cloud.”.

The lieutenant governor issued a statement Saturday again denying he ever sexually assaulted anyone and making clear he does not intend to immediately step down. Instead, he urged authorities to investigate.

"Frankly, we really want any entity with comprehensive investigative power to thoroughly look into these accusations," Fairfax spokeswoman Lauren Burke said. "There needs to be verification of basic facts about these allegations. It feels like something bigger is going on here."

Some political observers said it's possible impeachment would move forward in the House of Delegates — even if the threshold to start the process is remarkably high. However, lawmakers are set to leave town before February ends and may lack the time and resources to immediately take on the complicated issue.

"A clear sign of the depth of LG Fairfax's political crisis is the near-absence of voices in Virginia politics this weekend publicly urging him to remain in office," University of Mary Washington political science professor Stephen Farnsworth said in an email.

If the Legislature is in session, the House would need a simple majority to vote to impeach Fairfax, said A.E. Dick Howard, a University of Virginia law professor. The Senate would then review evidence and hear testimony. That chamber would need a two-thirds vote to convict among senators who are present.

Fairfax staffers resign as Virginia lieutenant governor battles sexual assault allegations

Fairfax staffers resign as Virginia lieutenant governor battles sexual assault allegations Several staff members working for Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) have resigned amid two accusations of sexual assault that have been brought against him. The Washington Post and The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Monday that two government staffers to Fairfax as well as two employees at his political action committee have resigned. The government staffers who resigned are policy director Adele McClure and scheduling director Julia Billingsly. The employees from the political action committee who quit are Dave Mills and Courtney McCargo.

So - could Mr Trump be impeached ? In theory yes. He could technically be accused of violations of his oath of office to "preserve, protect, and As the BBC's North America reporter Anthony Zurcher points out, "if this were a Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, articles of impeachment

Clinton: Impeachment 'will be left to others to decide'. Clinton: Civility starts by electing Democrats. Clinton ends Franklin tribute with smartphone. Hurricane Matthew could disrupt the voter mobilization efforts of Clinton and Trump. The storm will test both candidates less than five weeks from Election Day.

Another possibility: Fairfax simply hangs on as he disputes the allegations.

"Before Donald Trump, I would say with this kind of stuff, it's impossible for a person to just hang on, put their head down and ignore it," said Quentin Kidd, a political science professor at Christopher Newport University. "Post-Donald Trump, I think what elected officials are willing to do has changed in some ways. So can he hang on? Certainly he can hang on."

If Fairfax were to leave, it's unclear who could replace him. Northam may try to appoint a Democrat, while Republicans could mount a legal challenge with the goal of getting Senate Pro Tem Steve Newman to serve as both a voting senator and temporary lieutenant governor.

Meanwhile, the attorney general's future is unknown. Herring, who acknowledged wearing blackface at a party in 1980, would become governor if both Northam and Fairfax left office. Herring has apologized but has not indicated he would resign, despite his initial forceful call for the governor to step down.

Asked Sunday for his opinion on his subordinates, Northam told CBS that it's up to them to decide whether they want to stay in office. He said he supports Fairfax's call for an investigation into the sexual assault allegations. Of Herring, he said that "just like me, he has grown."

Northam's pledge Sunday to work on healing Virginia's racial divide was his second in as many days. In his first interview since the scandal erupted, he told The Washington Post on Saturday that the uproar has pushed him to confront the state's deep and lingering divisions, as well as his own insensitivity. But he said that reflection has convinced him that, by remaining in office, he can work to resolve them.

"It's obvious from what happened this week that we still have a lot of work to do," Northam said. "There are still some very deep wounds in Virginia, and especially in the area of equity."


Contributing to this report were Associated Press reporters Steve Helber in Chilhowie, Virginia; Ben Finley in Norfolk, Virginia; David McFadden in Baltimore; Julie Pace and Michael Biesecker in Washington; Jonathan Drew in Durham, North Carolina; Michael Kunzelman in College Park, Maryland; Alanna Durkin Richer in Boston; and Thomas Beaumont in Mason City, Iowa.

Justin Fairfax accuser speaks out as Va. Democrats end calls for impeachment.
The Democratic caucus is urging law enforcement to carry out an investigation into allegations against Justin Fairfax "outside the political arena."

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