The allegation has come to light just as Fairfax could be on the verge of becoming the state’s chief executive in the wake of a scandal involving Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam and a blackface yearbook photo.
The woman making the accusation against Fairfax has retained Katz, Marshall and Banks, a Washington, D.C.-based firm, and is consulting with her attorneys about next steps, according to a source close to the legal team. The law firm assisted Blasey Ford as she came forward during Kavanaugh’s confirmation process with allegations that he assaulted her when the two were in high school.
Yesterday it looked like the Fairfax sexual-assault story was dead on arrival. It had been floating around for awhile, the Washington Post looked into it, but they didn’t find any cause for concern after talking to people who know him and the accuser apparently can’t corroborate anything. It’s a bare allegation. She hasn’t even identified herself publicly. The story’s over.
…annnnnd now, suddenly, it’s not. The involvement of Katz’s firm suggests that the accuser’s planning something — not a lawsuit, perhaps, but at least an on-camera recounting of what she claims happened between her and Fairfax in 2004. Imagine being a Virginia Democrat who’s called for Northam to quit, now facing the very likely possibility that his would-be successor is about to land in the middle of a #MeToo sh*tstorm. You still want to pull the trapdoor on ol’ Ralph?
The fact that the accuser chose the same law firm as Ford makes this doubly uncomfortable for Democrats. David French looked at the two accusers yesterday and wondered why, based on what we know, Ford’s allegation should be given more credence than the allegation made by Fairfax’s accuser: “The Fairfax accuser came forward far sooner than Ford, she identified the specific time and place of the attack, the accused agreed that he was with the accuser at that time and place, there was an admitted sexual encounter, and — according to the Post — the paper ‘did not find significant red flags and inconsistencies’ in her claims.” All true. Fairfax admits to having “hit it off” with the accuser and gone back to his hotel room with her in 2004. He told reporters yesterday that, despite the apparent casualness of the encounter, “the woman had subsequently called him and said she wanted him to meet her mother.” Which sounds like he’s setting up to accuse her of some sort of rejection-fueled vendetta.
Ford had a shred (and only a shred) of corroboration inasmuch as she and her husband claim that she told him about Kavanaugh a few years before she went public with her story. As far as we know, Fairfax’s accuser told literally no one what he allegedly did to her. But again: If you’re a Virginia Democrat, how much time and political energy do you want to devote to the knotty question of whether Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser, whom the party believed with utmost rigidity, or the woman accusing your new political savior in Virginia has more credibility? You’re better off sticking with the weirdo in charge, who can at least be expected to spend the next three years groveling and doing whatever he can to atone to the party for his blackface experiment 35 years ago.
Here’s a friend of Northam’s telling CNN last night that she’s sticking with him. The first time I saw the yearbook photo, she says, I thought it was photoshopped. Photoshopped? In 1984? For … no particular reason, just because the yearbook committee thought it’d be fun to smear him as a cartoonish racist?
"Ralph Northam is not the person that is depicted in the photograph that's on his page," says Carla Savage-Wells, a longtime friend of Gov. Ralph Northam. "If Ralph tells me he's not in that picture, I believe him." https://t.co/xIgRBuofAZ pic.twitter.com/I617z09qAc
— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) February 5, 2019