Politics & Policy

Fairfax Accuser Hires Firm that Represented Christine Blasey Ford

Christine Blasey Ford with lawyer Debra S. Katz (at left) answers questions at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, September 27, 2018. (Melina Mara/Pool via Reuters)

The unnamed California woman who accused Virginia lieutenant governor Justin Fairfax of sexual assault has retained the same law firm that represented Christine Blasey Ford when she publicly accused then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of attempted sexual assault.

The woman recently hired the Washington, D.C.-based firm of Katz Marshall & Banks and is currently discussing with her attorneys how best to proceed after publishing her account of the assault on the right-wing website Big League Politics Sunday night, NPR reported Tuesday.

The woman, who has chosen to remain anonymous, accused a politician fitting Fairfax’s description of assaulting her in a Boston hotel room at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

Fairfax has admitted to having a consensual sexual encounter at the hotel in question in 2004, but has denied ever assaulting anyone in any manner. The Washington Post first learned of the allegation last year but was unable to corroborate the claims and, therefore, refused to publish the account — a decision Fairfax cited in his denial.

Attorneys Debra Katz and Lisa Banks represented Ford after she publicly identified herself as the author of a letter sent last summer to the ranking Judiciary Committee Democrat, Senator Dianne Feinstein of California. In the letter, Ford accused Kavanaugh of drunkenly attempting to assault her at a house party when they were in high school. Katz and Banks, who both have extensive ties to the national Democratic party, represented Ford pro bono.

The allegations against Fairfax emerged just as he was preparing to succeed governor Ralph Northam, who is facing calls to resign from prominent Virginia Democrats over the emergence of a racist photo on his 1984 medical-school-yearbook page.

The image was first published by Big League Politics, the same website that the Fairfax accuser chose to publicize her claims, and depicted one man in blackface and another in Ku Klux Klan robes. Northam initially apologized and admitted to appearing in the photo Friday evening. He then backtracked during a Saturday afternoon press conference, in which he denied appearing in the photo but admitted to darkening his face for a Michael Jackson costume on a separate occasion.

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