Plans fall through for Justin Fairfax hearing

House Republicans say they tried and failed to broker a deal with Democrats that would allow for a bipartisan public hearing in which two women who accuse Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assault could testify under oath.

Republican Speaker Kirk Cox issued a statement Tuesday blaming Democrats for refusing to participate and blocking a bipartisan hearing.

Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson leveled their accusations against Fairfax in February. Their allegations have received new attention after televised interviews this week with CBS News in which they tearfully described their experience.

Both women have said they want to testify in front of the General Assembly but want a bipartisan process.

Fairfax has said his encounters with both women were consensual.

House Democrats say a legislative hearing would inevitably become a partisan brawl.