Jeff Flake, the Republican Senator who had made an impassioned speech on the Senate Floor before the testimonies of Trump’s Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser Christine Blasey Ford on Thursday, was confronted by a self-described sexual assault victim shortly after he voted to confirm Kavanaugh’s nomination.
On Wednesday, Flake had offered his “sincere apology” to both Kavanaugh and Ford for how the media had handled the entire saga. He argued that everyone must be given a chance to speak about their experiences, and had urged his fellow Senators to seek the truth when they vote on Friday. Despite a large volume of responses to Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony calling for an FBI investigation into her allegations — leading to the withdrawal of Kavanaugh endorsements from many organizations, including the American Bar Association — he voted to confirm the Supreme Court nominee early on Friday, according to The Guardian.
“Our system of justice affords a presumption of innocence to the accused, absent corroborating evidence,” Flake said.
“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.
I will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh.”
“Look at me when I'm talking to you. You’re telling me that my assault doesn’t matter!": Protesters confront Sen. Jeff Flake moments after he announces he will vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh. https://t.co/Cc5y9kura1 pic.twitter.com/qqvz3jx8JF
— CNN (@CNN) September 28, 2018
Shortly after he voted to confirm Kavanaugh, the Arizona Senator was confronted by an alleged sexual assault survivor as he went to board an elevator, reports the Huffington Post.
“You’re telling all women that they don’t matter,” a woman told Flake tearfully as the Senator kept his head down.
“Look at me when I’m talking to you!” the woman screamed. “You’re telling me that my assault doesn’t matter.”
“Look at me and tell me that it doesn’t matter what happened to me! That you’ll let people like that go into the highest court in the land and tell everyone what they can do with their bodies.”
There were other women present at the confirmation vote who were equally astounded by Flake’s vote. The Arizona Senator has made a name for himself over the last couple of years being willing to vote against the party line, but when he chose to vote for Kavanaugh, the disillusionment that he had caused was almost palpable. Ana Maria Archila, a woman who was also present at Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony, said that she could completely believe the psychology professor’s account because something similar had happened to her.
“What you are doing is allowing someone who actually violated a woman to sit on the Supreme Court!” Archila told Flake. “What are you doing, sir? This is the future of our country!”
But despite the shock and protestations of the women present, Flake seemed determined to help Republicans confirm Kavanaugh without further delay.