"Look at me": How two women who confronted Jeff Flake in elevator made him change his mind about FBI investigation of Kavanaugh
The voting for Kavanaugh's nomination came a day after the extraordinary and historic hearing of clinical psychology professor Dr. Christine Blasey Ford
Senator Jeff Flake (Republican, Arizona) was confronted by two sexual assault survivors in an elevator at the US Capitol, just minutes after he announced during the Senate voting that he approves President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, despite the sexual assault allegations laid against him.
The voting for Kavanaugh's nomination came a day after the extraordinary and historic hearing of clinical psychology professor Dr. Christine Blasey Ford who publicly came forward to detail her sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. Ford's testimony, which was painful to watch for many, was widely seen as credible as she asked for an FBI investigation into her claims and stood in stark contrast to Kavanaugh's, who not even once, conceded for an FBI investigation, repeatedly suggesting that the Senate hearing was enough.
The judge has also been accused of sexual misconduct from two other women — Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick. He, however, has denied all the allegations.
Flake, who is considered an important swing vote, was stopped en route to the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing by two women, one of who used her foot to prevent the elevator from closing in the Russell Senate Office Building on Friday.
The woman, directly talking to Flake in the elevator, said: "Look at me when I’m talking to you. You’re telling me that my assault doesn’t matter. That what happened to me doesn’t matter. That you’re going to let people who do those things into power.”
A sexual assault survivor just confronted Jeff Flake (who just announced he's voting for Kavanaugh): "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" pic.twitter.com/Jix2BI090B— David Mack (@davidmackau) September 28, 2018
"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 to their bodies," the woman continued as Flake appeared to avoid eye-contact with her. The entire incident was filmed on camera.
Although Flake quietly listened to the women, he, however, did not respond to their questions and instead said: "I need to go to the hearing. I just issued a statement. I’ll be saying more as well.”
The woman, according to USA Today, is Center for Popular Democracy co-executive director Ana Maria Archila.
"When Dr. Ford’s allegations against Judge Kavanaugh surfaced two weeks ago, I insisted that she be allowed to testify before the committee moved to a vote," Flake said in a statement earlier in the day.
"Yesterday, we heard compelling testimony from Dr. Ford, as well as a persuasive response from Judge Kavanaugh. I wish that I could express the confidence that some of my colleagues have conveyed about what either did or did not happen in the early 1980s, but I left the hearing yesterday with as much doubt as certainty. What I do know is that our system of justice affords a presumption of innocence to the accused, absent corroborating evidence," he added.
"That is what binds us to the rule of law. While some may argue that a different standard should apply regarding the Senate’s advice and consent responsibilities, I believe that the constitution’s provisions of fairness and due process apply here as well."
However, despite voting a 'yes' to Kavanaugh's nomination, Flake emerged as a turning point at the end of the hearing as he called for an FBI investigation.
Flake, at the last minute of the voting, said that he would only be satisfied if Kavanaugh's sexual assault allegations were looked into by the FBI. The Arizona Senator demanded the investigation into the allegations after a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting approved Kavanaugh's nomination by an 11-10 party-line vote. The Arizona senator said that his 'yes' vote was conditioned on an investigation taking place.