Fairfax Impeachment Talk On Hold... For Now

Feb 11, 2019

State Delegate Patrick Hope of Arlington had previously planned to introduce articles of impeachment against Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax Monday. Those plans have now been put on hold.
Credit AP Photo / Steve Helber

Embattled Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax is back at work this week, presiding over the Senate and resisting calls for his resignation.

“The clerk will call the role. All those present will please record their vote aye.”

That’s Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, presiding over the Senate as if it were just another Monday. Here’s one exchange with Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment.

“Good afternoon, Mr. President.”

“Good afternoon, senator.”

“I respectfully move that we waive the reading of any communications from the House of Delegates, and it appears that you got sheared over the weekend.”

Several senators in the chamber he’s presiding over have called for his resignation. And many House members don’t want him there either.

“The lieutenant governor should resign immediately.”

That’s Delegate Patrick Hope of Arlington. He was drafting articles of impeachment as a way to investigate Fairfax.

“And right now in talking to my colleagues I don’t believe that the impeachment process provides that. But I’m committed to finding that process, that investigation, so these women will have their say.”

Legal experts say the Virginia Constitution limits impeachment to crimes in office. And any FBI investigation would be limited to federal crimes. So Hope says he’s still trying to figure out a way to investigate the two sexual assault allegations against the lieutenant governor.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.