Politics: Virginia lawmaker backs off fast track for impeachment bill - PressFrom - US

PoliticsVirginia lawmaker backs off fast track for impeachment bill

15:10  11 february  2019
15:10  11 february  2019 Source:   msn.com

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

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West Virginia lawmakers , seeking to remove every justice on the state's The vote came shortly after lawmakers also impeached indicted Justice Allen Loughry by a vote Republican Delegate Tom Fast of Fayette County said he had seen the work done in Davis' office, including track lighting on the floor.

The impeachment of Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States, was initiated in December 1998 by the House of Representatives and led to a trial in the Senate on two charges, one of perjury and one of obstruction of justice.

RICHMOND, Va. — A Virginia lawmaker on Monday backed off his plans to swiftly introduce an impeachment bill seeking the ouster of the state's leading black elected official as Democrats struggled to address revelations of past racist behavior and allegations of sexual assault roiling its highest levels of office.

The effort to impeach Democratic Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax was prompted by the emergence of two women who accused him of sexual assault in the 2000s. Fairfax has vehemently denied the claims and called for authorities, including the FBI, to investigate.

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A West Virginia state legislative committee has voted to impeach all four justices who sit on the state Supreme Court, over a number of accusations. The recommendation for impeachment will now be considered by the state's full House of Delegates. Speaker Pro Tempore John Overington said the

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Democratic Del. Patrick Hope tweeted early Monday that he got "an enormous amount of sincere and thoughtful feedback" from colleagues after circulating a draft of his impeachment bill, and that he sees that "additional conversations ... need to take place before anything is filed."

Virginia lawmaker backs off fast track for impeachment bill© The Associated Press Virginia Lt. Gov Justin Fairfax looks over a briefing book prior to the start of the senate session at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019. A California woman has accused Fairfax of sexually assaulting her 15 years ago. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) There's been 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 their governor, lieutenant governor or attorney general leave office, willingly or not.

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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

Antifa at Charlottesville, Virginia , rally (Photo: Twitter). Calls for impeachment of President Trump are nothing new – some started within minutes of his January inauguration – but efforts to put the country’s 45th president on trial are reaching a fevered pitch in the wake of the Charlottesville protest clashes

Gov. Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring are still trying to regain their political standing after awkwardly acknowledging that they each once wore blackface as young men in the 1980s . Calls for Northam's resignation raised the prospect of Fairfax taking over, which prompted his accusers to come forward.

All three scandals involve events that happened long before these leaders took office, but they've become a full-blown crisis for Democrats. The party counts on the support of black voters and has taken an almost zero-tolerance approach to sexual misconduct in the #MeToo era. A housecleaning could be costly: If all three Democrats resign, Republican state House Speaker Kirk Cox would become Virginia's governor.

Northam, a pediatric neurologist, said that he considered quitting, but has decided he's "not going anywhere" because the state "needs someone that can heal" it.

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. 

The Hill is a top US political website, read by the White House and more lawmakers than any other site -- vital for policy, politics and election campaigns.

Ohuanbuwa said, “We are going to fast track the bill for accelerated passage and that is what the Senate “It is unfortunate that both the ministry and the executive have been going back and forth. “We are looking forward to rounding off or concluding that bill before we go on our annual break.

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."

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.

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.

Backed by large veterans service organizations, the change is one of the first legislative victories under Republican control of Congress and the White The threat of eroding worker protections has met with fierce opposition from federal employees, the unions that represent them and Democratic lawmakers .

The state lawmaker who launched the move to impeach Gov. Robert Bentley said the process is tainted Givan said she expects the impeachment investigation to move to a " fast track ." Givan's bill was not related to Bentley's impeachment but based on a recommendation of a constitutional

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.

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 noted that the threshold to start an impeachment process is remarkably high in the House of Delegates. The lawmakers are set to leave town before February ends, and have limited time and resources to immediately take on the complicated issue.

Still, "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.

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.

Removal requires an impeachment vote from the House of Representatives and a conviction from the Senate. After Tyler vetoed a tariff bill in June 1842, the House of Representatives initiated the first accused him of failing to prevent the destruction of evidence in allowing the erasure of back -up

One Republican state lawmaker responded by starting a push to impeach the five Democratic state justices who found the map in violation of the Pennsylvania Constitution. State Representative Cris Dush sent a memo to all members of the House seeking co-sponsors for an impeachment bill .

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.

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.

The attorney general's future also remains in question. Herring, who would become governor if both Northam and Fairfax leave office, initially made a forceful call for Northam to step down, but then he too acknowledged wearing blackface at a party in 1980. Herring has apologized but has not indicated he would resign.

Asked Sunday for his opinion on his subordinates, Northam told CBS it's up to them to decide whether they want to stay. 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."


Finley reported from Norfolk, Virginia. Contributing to this report were Associated Press reporters Steve Helber in Chilhowie, Virginia; David McFadden in Baltimore; and Julie Pace and Michael Biesecker in Washington.

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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