Home 2019 Elections Audio: In Brand-New Radio Interview, Attorney for Dr. Vanessa Tyson Says “this...

Audio: In Brand-New Radio Interview, Attorney for Dr. Vanessa Tyson Says “this kind of impasse only benefits the Lt. Governor…[not] the women who come forward with credible allegations”

Adds that Dr. Tyson is "very resolute that she will come forward and testify when she is provided that opportunity"


See below for audio of the exclusive interview aired yesterday between 2017 Democratic Lt. Governor candidate Susan Platt and Debra Katz, formerly the attorney for Christine Blasey Ford and currently the attorney for Dr. Vanessa Tyson, who is one of two women (the other being Meredith Watson) who have publicly accused Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assaulting them. Also, check below the audio for transcribed highlights from the interview (bolding added by me for emphasis). Note that the audio of Debra Katz was a bit spotty at times, and that there were a couple places where it was very hard for me to make out exactly what she said. Overall, though, what Katz had to say came through very clearly, as I think you’ll agree…

  • Katz said “the situation in Virginia is absolutely mind-boggling; we have two women who have come forward with credible allegations of sexual assault by the Lt. Governor…what has happened is partisan bickering and we’re at a standstill, and everybody’s worse for that.”
  • Platt, noting that she herself has been sexually assaulted, talked about how “hypocritical” and “discouraging” when women are not allowed to tell their stories in a public forum, and when “some of our Democratic women who’ve been elected who were very much out there in front with you with Dr. Blasey Ford…have remained pretty much silent.”
  • Asked why no police report has been filed by Dr. Tyson with Suffolk County police, Katz said it’s a “very big decision for somebody to decide to proceed with criminal charges, and as you know, people are often re-victimized by going through the criminal justice system.”
  • According to Katz, what Dr. Tyson wants to do is “to tell what happened to the people of Virginia who elected him…right now the priority is to try to have an opportunity for Dr. Tyson to be able to testify in a proceeding before the Virginia legislature.”
  • Asked whether Dr. Tyson made any contemporaneous comments about the alleged sexual assault “around the time when this incident occurred,” Katz referred back to the “detailed statement” Dr. Tyson already released back in early February. Other than that, Katz said that Dr. Tyson “over the years…had general conversations about this event.” Katz also said that Dr. Tyson had “named the name” to friends over “the last several years.”
  • Asked about the timing of Dr. Tyson coming forward, and suspicions that this was brought up now for political reasons, Katz said “her efforts to raise this…really happened around the time the allegations coming forward about the governor…and his racist conduct…but as you know from what the Washington Post has written about, after he was elected Lt. Governor and actually before he was elected Lt. Governor, Dr. Tyson told friends expressly that he had assaulted her and was in communication with the Washington Post well before these most recent events involving the governor; so she has been talking about this for quite some time.
  • Asked about Dr. Tyson supposedly writing a book and wanting to make herself into a “victim,” Katz said that “comments like that are exactly what always [unintellible] malign and smear women…to suggest that women have an ulterior motivation for coming forward and putting themselves in a situation where they’re going to be heavily scrutinized and criticized…People are always looking for motivations to ascribe to victims to try to discredit them. I’m not aware of any book, and like many of the other things the Lt. Governor said, this is simply false...[the Washington Post] strongly rebuked the Lt. Governor…there have been many comments and statements that have been made that have been demonstrably false.”
  • Katz said “the best way to resolve these disputes is to have everybody come under oath and testify…[Dr. Tyson and Meredith Watson] are prepared to do that, and the legislature needs to figure out a path forward.”
  • Asked about “due process” and what result Dr. Tyson wants from a public hearing, Katz said “what she wants is an opportunity to describe what occurred, to answer any questions put to her – honestly, forthrightly – we would hope that the Lt. Governor would do the same, and at the end of that process, the members of the legislature are going to have to decide whether removal proceedings are appropriate…”
  • Katz added: “The kind of behavior engaged in by the Lt. Governor to try to discredit these women, while saying he wants an FBI investigation, knowing full well as a former federal prosecutor that the FBI has no jurisdiction here, the things that he’s putting forward are just fig leafs. If he really would like the truth to come forward, everybody needs to be heard under oath…”
  • Katz said that she and Dr. Tyson share the goal of not making this a “partisan” process, that “sexual assault is not a partisan issue,” that what’s needed is a “rigorous examination” in which “everybody is treated fairly in the process.”
  • Katz added: “Unfortunately, the sides have yet to come up with what those procedures are or how to proceed. And unfortunately, this kind of impasse only benefits the Lt. Governor…[not] the women who come forward with credible allegations.”
  • Asked how she thinks the General Assembly should go about this, Katz said: “We believe that it is important the hearings be open to the public…the parties should be under oath…there should be an opportunity to present other witnesses…In Meredith Watson’s case, we know that she told people the day after the rape that the rape occurred and named Justin Fairfax as the rapist, so the testimony of those people would be very important. You don’t make something up 20 years ago [unintelligible]…I remain very curious about why so many members of the Lt. Governor’s staff quit and what information they may have…There are certainly individuals subpoenaed to answer questions.”
  • Asked whether there’s any point to a hearing like this, given that Brett Kavanaugh still got confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Katz said she does NOT believe that Dr. Ford’s testimony was “in vain,” and that in fact “the world has changed as a result of her speaking the truth…the world has a very different view of who now-Justice Kavanaugh is…When he starts making whacks with a scalpel at Roe v. Wade and other rights that women hold, we’ll know exactly who this man is…I think that hurt the Republican significantly in the mid-terms…When [women come forward and tell the truth]…there needs to be a reckoning, because we are not going to live in a society where this kind of abuse is commonplace…We’re in a very reactionary period, but we are not going back.”
  • Finally, Katz said that Dr. Tyson is “very resolute that she will come forward and testify when she is provided that opportunity.”

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