News outlet seeks dismissal of lieutenant governor’s lawsuit

National
Justin Fairfax

FILE – In this Tuesday July 9, 2019 file photo, Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax welcomes visitors at the start of the special session on gun issues at the State Capitol in Richmond, Va. A federal judge is scheduled to hear arguments Friday, Dec. 6, 2019 over whether he should toss out a libel lawsuit filed by Virginia’s lieutenant governor. Justin Fairfax sued CBS in federal court in Alexandria after it aired interviews with two women who have accused him of sexual assault.(AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A federal judge is scheduled to hear arguments Friday over whether he should toss out a libel lawsuit filed by Virginia’s lieutenant governor.

Justin Fairfax sued CBS in federal court in Alexandria after it aired interviews with two women who have accused him of sexual assault.

Fairfax has said the sexual encounters were consensual. He argues that the CBS interviews were one-sided and reported the allegations in a way that implied his guilt.

CBS said its reporting was fair and called the lawsuit an attempt by Fairfax to silence his accusers.

Fairfax, a Democrat, appeared close to assuming the governor’s post earlier this year when Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam faced calls to resign after a racist photo was uncovered on his medical-school yearbook page. But the allegations against Fairfax blunted the momentum for Northam’s resignation. Both Northam and Fairfax have remained in office, as has Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring, who admitted around the same time that he had worn blackface in college.

Fairfax has said the allegations against him were part of a smear campaign to keep him from rising to governor.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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