Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) presides over the Senate in Richmond on Monday. (Jonathan Drake/Reuters)

Neither woman who has accused Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) of sexual assault has “any apparent motive to lie,” the Feb. 10 editorial “Mr. Fairfax’s poor conduct” said. Nonetheless, reasons (and actors) not apparent can be at work, particularly in an environment as extremely divisive as this one.

In Gov. Ralph Northam’s (D) case, publication of the yearbook photograph was prompted by a citizen outraged not about blackface but about proposed abortion legislation. Meanwhile, Mr. Fairfax stepped down from the statehouse dais again this year during an observance by the Virginia legislature of Robert E. Lee as a great American. Not long afterward, Mr. Fairfax invited relatives of Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson to speak publicly and at length against such praise of their ancestors, as The Post reported. Perhaps Mr. Fairfax’s actions have fueled outrage by undisclosed people, who have used an indirect form of redress to retaliate? As the editorial concluded, “a full investigation is essential.” Appearances can deceive. To destroy a person’s reputation and career should require a stronger standard of proof than that an accuser has “no apparent motive to lie.”

Marie France, Cabin John

The editorial Mr. Fairfax’s poor conduct” asserted that, “If the lieutenant governor does not resign, the state should investigate the allegations against him.” That statement was backward. In the U.S. judicial system, “the state should investigate the allegations,” then, if proved true, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) should resign or other appropriate action should be taken.

Hank Seiff, Falls Church