Rep. Karen Bass (D., Calif.), the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said Virginia’s Democratic governor and lieutenant governor should be "held accountable" for actions leading to calls for their resignations.
Virginia’s Democratic Party is in chaos as Gov. Ralph Northam continues to spurn calls he step down over a racist photograph in his medical school yearbook. The man who would take his place is facing his own scandal, however, as Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax stands accused of sexual assault, and Bass said the woman accusing him "should be heard."
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CNN host Kate Bolduan asked whether Fairfax should be treated like Justice Brett Kavanaugh when he faced a sexual assault allegation from Christine Blasey Ford.
"I don't believe in a double standard at all," Bass answered.
"I first of all think the governor should step down," Bass added in reference to Northam. "That's a separate issue."
Bass said if Northam does step down and Fairfax takes his place, then his accuser "absolutely should be heard."
"Whatever process is appropriate in Virginia should be followed. Maybe he wouldn't be able to take the seat. Maybe it would have to go to the attorney general," Bass said.
Just minutes after Bass’s interview, the attorney general of Virginia, Mark Herring, admitted he "put on … brown makeup" while dressing up as a rapper in 1980. Northam admitted to "darkening his skin" when he dressed as Michael Jackson, and a photo on his yearbook page shows an individual in blackface and another individual in a Ku Klux Klan robe—neither of whom are Northam, the governor said. When Northam’s scandal erupted, Herring said his past behavior warranted him stepping down.
After Northam, Fairfax, and Herring, the next person in the line of succession to Virginia’s governorship is Virginia House of Delegates Speaker Kirk Cox (R.). Bass said the Democrats caught in these scandals must be held accountable.
"I do not believe in a double standard, and I do believe everybody should be held accountable," she concluded.