Minutes after he announced that he’ll vote in favor of Brett Kavanaugh‘s ascension to a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court, Jeff Flake (R-AZ) was confronted by protesters as he tried to board an elevator in the U.S. Capitol this Friday morning.
Flake, who is a key swing vote in Kavanuagh’s confirmation, was cornered in an elevator while on his way to cast his vote. Two women, who identified themselves as sexual assault survivors, demanded to know why he decided to support Kavanaugh.
“What you are doing is allowing someone who actually violated a woman to sit on the Supreme Court. This is not tolerable. You have children in your family. Think about them. I have two children,” a woman identified by CNN as Ana Maria Archila told Flake. “I cannot imagine that for the next 50 years they will have to have someone in the Supreme Court who has been accused of violating a young girl. What are you doing, sir?”
Another woman, Maria Gallagher, told Flake,” I was sexually assaulted and no one believed me.”
“I didn’t tell anyone and you’re telling all women that they don’t matter, that they should just stay quiet because if they tell you what happened to them you are going to ignore them,” Gallagher continued as Flake tried to close the elevator door. “That’s what happened to me, and that’s what you are telling all women in America, that they don’t matter. They should just keep it to themselves because if they have told the truth you’re just going to help that man to power anyway.”
As Flake stood in the elevator, visibly uncomfortable, Gallagher continued:
“Don’t look away from me. Look at me and tell me that it doesn’t matter what happened to me. That you will let people like that go into the highest court of the land and tell everyone what they can do with their bodies.”
Flake repeatedly said “thank you” without addressing the women’s protests directly. When Archila asked Flake if he thinks Kavanaugh is telling the truth, he replied with “thank you” again.
Update: The Republican-led committee approved Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court this Friday, But Flake threw a slight wrench into the process by openly calling for an FBI investigation into the sexual assault allegations against him.
Flake’s intervention means that a final Senate vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation could be delayed for up to a week to make wake for the FBI investigation.
Featured image via screen grab