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Virginia leader accused of rape will have to resign if claims are true: governor

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Virginia’s embattled governor insisted he will not resign over a racist yearbook photo, but he said the state’s lieutenant governor would have to step aside if sexual assault allegations against him are found to be true.

In a CBS interview to be broadcast on Monday, Governor Ralph Northam said he had learned from the controversy that erupted on Feb. 1 when a racist photo surfaced from his medical school yearbook, and that as a former pediatrician he could help Virginians heal.

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“There’s no better person to do that than a doctor. Virginia also needs someone who is strong, who has empathy, who has courage and who has a moral compass,” Northam told CBS “This Morning” co-host Gayle King. “And that’s why I’m not going anywhere.”

According to excerpts of the interview provided on Sunday by CBS, Northam was asked about allegations of sexual crimes, including rape, that have been made by two women against Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, a fellow Democrat and the state’s second-highest elected official.

Fairfax, who has denied the allegations and called for an investigation, has also faced widespread calls from Democratic leaders to step aside.

Northam told CBS it must have taken tremendous courage for the women to come forward, and that he supported Fairfax’s call for an investigation.

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“And if these accusations are determined to be true, I don’t think he’s going to have any other option but to resign,” Northam said.

Fairfax, who is African-American, has said that encounters with both women were consensual.

“I believe and trust that due process will provide the fairness, justice and honesty that is necessary,” Fairfax said in a statement on Saturday.

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He called on “all appropriate and impartial investigatory authorities, including the FBI,” to investigate the claims.

A fellow Democrat, state House member Patrick Hope, has said he will introduce articles of impeachment against Fairfax on Monday unless the lieutenant governor resigns.

The political chaos surrounding the state’s top two elected officials has also extended to the second-in-line to succeed Northam, Attorney General Mark Herring, who admitted that he had once darkened his face to imitate a black performer.

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The possibility of all three top leaders of Virginia’s executive branch having to resign raised the prospect of Democrats losing the governorship to the Republican speaker of the state House of Delegates, who is next in the line of succession.


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Trump took out DNI head Dan Coats to install a new acting director in charge of whistleblowers: CIA veteran

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Appearing on MSNBC's "AM Joy," a longtime veteran CIA official said the whistleblower, who ran to the inspector general with a complaint about Donald Trump asking Ukraine's president for dirt on Joe Biden, should expect the president and his aides to come after them.

Speaking with host Joy Reid, Jonna Mendez said she saw the first warnings signs that something was up in the U.S. intelligence community when the president forced DNI head Dan Coats and his top deputy out.

"Through the lens of someone who spent 27 years at the CIA, the thing that caught my eye instantly was Dan Coats' resignation follow by Sue Gordon," Mendez explained. "The fact that Dan Coats went into a meeting and said 'Sue, you've got to resign' and that she did, truncating a career that clearly hadn't reached its zenith."

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2020 Election

GOP’s cancellation of presidential primaries could blow up in Trump’s face — here’s why

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In recent weeks, Republican state party committees have been moving to cancel presidential primaries to prevent Never-Trump conservatives, like former Reps. Joe Walsh (R-IL) and Mark Sanford (R-SC) and former Gov. Bill Weld (R-MA), from challenging the president from the right. So far, Republicans in Arizona, Kansas, Nevada, and South Carolina have all announced they will scrap the voting process for 2020.

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Mike Pence should be investigated for his part in Ukraine negotiations and ‘we need some answers’: Ex-prosecutor

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On MSNBC's "AM Joy" Saturday, former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance agreed with host Joy Reid that Vice President Mike Pence could be involved in the Ukraine whistleblower cover-up — and that Congress needs to act to learn the truth for the American people.

"Let me go to you on this very quickly, Joyce, because here's the question for Mike Pence," said Reid. "Mike Pence has been sort of severed from all of the other questions that are relating to potential impeachment for Donald Trump, that the House is wrestling with right now, but if Pence ... went in knowing why the aid was being held up, went in and spoke to the leader of Ukraine knowing what stick the administration had over them, and in that way was drawn in to this idea of using that stick to try to get what they wanted from Ukraine, does he then face the jeopardy of perhaps also being drawn into the questions of impeachment?"

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