HARRISONBURG, VA, 16 SEPTEMBER 2019: Senator Mark D. Obenshain (R-Rockingham), Chairman of the Senate Courts of Justice Committee, today called on Delegates John Bell (D-Loudoun), Debra Rodman (D-Henrico), and Cheryl Turpin (D-Virginia Beach) to stop blocking hearings that would allow public sworn testimony from Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson, who have accused Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax (D) of sexual assault.
“The circumstances involving these credible accusations against Lt. Governor Fairfax have degenerated from tragedy to farce,” said Obenshain. “With the filing of his lawsuit against CBS for allowing Dr. Tyson and Ms. Watson to tell their stories, the Lt. Governor has outrageously attempted to discredit his accusers and all who have the temerity to ensure their voices are heard.
“The latest chapter in this six-month-long fiasco might have been avoided had Democrats in the House of Delegates agreed to accommodate these women with their perfectly reasonable request: a bipartisan hearing in the House. Instead, Democrat delegates – including Senate nominees John Bell, Debra Rodman, and Cheryl Turpin – have continued to block these hearings. By denying Dr. Tyson and Ms. Watson a fair hearing, Delegates Bell, Rodman, and Turpin are complicit in the Lt. Governor’s efforts to discredit and dismiss these women.
“Now, even The Washington Post editorial page, which no one has ever accused of being the least bit sympathetic to Republicans, has pointed out the hypocrisy of Democrat delegates, noting, ‘Democrats, some of whom have called for Mr. Fairfax to resign [including Delegates Bell, Rodman, and Turpin], have opposed such a hearing.’
“Democrats who have obstructed these hearings, especially Delegates Bell, Rodman, and Turpin who seek to serve in the Senate where Fairfax presides, need to be held accountable for putting their political ambitions ahead of the rights of these women and the interests of justice.”