Del. Patrick Hope explains/defends his call for initiating an impeachment process against Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax – see below for video and a transcript (bolding added for emphasis). Your thoughts?
Let me just take a moment to address my call for Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax to resign or face impeachment. I know impeachment is a scary word but impeachment is more of a process of investigation and a deliberation than a final action. Impeachment is fundamentally first and foremost about due process.
The legislative Black Caucus, the House and Senate Democrats, the Democratic Party of Virginia and practically every congressional Democrat have called on the lieutenant governor to resign – I might add, without due process. But the allegations by Dr. Vanessa Tyson and Ms. Meredith Watson are extremely serious and I sincerely believe their accounts. They have no motive to lie. The Lieutenant Governor has asked for an investigation and Dr. Tyson and Ms. Watson have asked for an opportunity to tell their stories.
Over the last several days, I have spoken to law enforcement and my colleagues and have determined that there is no other way for an investigation to take take place, absent criminal charges to be filed in either Massachusetts or North Carolina. There are numerous reasons why survivors of sexual assault choose not to press criminal charges and we should respect that. The FBI has no jurisdiction and it’s preposterous to suggest otherwise.
So where does that leave us? It leaves us with two options: first, we can do nothing and hope people forget and this will all go away; or we can exercise our constitutional authority to investigate these matters and give the Lieutenant Governor exactly what he says he wants- an opportunity to clear his name. And we can give Dr. Tyson and Ms. Watson an opportunity to be heard and tell their stories. We could do this in a bipartisan way. I believe doing nothing is not an option and it sends the wrong message to women, especially to those that are victims of violent sexual assault. I’m of course open to other avenues to accomplish the same goal, but I haven’t seen or heard from anyone that there’s any other way to conduct this investigation.