Sen. Jeff Flake announces he will vote to confirm Kavanaugh nomination

Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Archila confronted Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., in an elevator after he announced his support for Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh has been accused by three women of sexual misconduct, which he vehemently denied during a hearing on Thursday, following testimony from Christine Blasey Ford, who says he once forcibly groped her.

A protester who said she was sexually assaulted approached Senator Jeff Flake in an elevator Friday after he released a statement saying he would be voting in favor of Brett Kavanaugh for a seat on the Supreme Court. "I didn't tell anyone, and you're telling all women that they don't matter, that they should stay quiet", another woman said, as Flake stood by silently with a somber look on his face.

"You're telling all women in American they don't matter", one howled at him. "Look at me and tell me that it doesn't matter what happened to me". "What you are doing is allowing someone who actually violated a woman to sit in the Supreme Court - this is not tolerable".

Flake did not address the two women's questions directly, but said, "thank you".

"I always carried the fear that my parents would feel that they had failed in taking care of me if I told them", Archila said Friday night in a phone interview with The Washington Post. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, aligned with Flake in calling for the investigation before they would vote to approve Kavanaugh.

"I made a decision to tell my story, a story that I hadn't told to many people except a few friends. That's what you're telling me right now!" After huddling with Democrats and much palace intrigue, he ultimately announced he would not support final confirmation until the Federal Bureau of Investigation had a week to further investigate the accusations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh.

There was initially expected to be a procedural vote on the Senate floor on Saturday, with Republican leaders' looking to hold a final Senate vote early next week, but given the concerns from Flake and what transpired in the Judiciary Committee Friday, that could now change.

The delay, which could be more consequential depending on what the Federal Bureau of Investigation finds, slammed the brakes on Trump and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's pledge to "plow right through" to a quick confirmation of Kavanaugh.

Flake's announcement came after he and several other senators on both sides of the aisle left the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing room during a meeting ahead of the scheduled vote on Kavanaugh.

The American Bar Association urged the Judiciary committee and the full Senate to hold off the vote until the FBI had investigated the assault claims.

Flake told the Associated Press he thought Kavanaugh deserved the "presumption of innocence ... absent corroborating evidence".

I do believe Judge Kavanaugh.

Archila's bio on the Center for Popular Democracy says she emigrated to the United States from Puerto Rico when she was 17, and has since "become a leading voice for racial justice, economic justice and immigrant rights in NY and nationally". They yelled at him, saying his vote communicates to "all women that they don't matter".

"I need to go to the hearing".

After hearing about Flake's request, she said the sequence of events suggested their conversation helped move him.

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