Jeff Flake gives a little cover to fellow Republicans

Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Americans are asking whether a confrontation with two protesters in an elevator persuaded Republican Jeff Flake to call for an FBI investigation into sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Flake was among 11 Republicans voting for Kavanaugh at the committee level, overcoming 10 Democrats' no votes, with the nomination next going to the full Senate.

Flake was visibly uncomfortable.

Jeff Flake. While he voted in favor of confirming Kavanaugh at the committee level, Flake said he had a verbal agreement with other lawmakers that the Federal Bureau of Investigation would look into the allegations against the nominee.

Two women confronted the Republican lawmaker as he boarded an elevator, telling him they are survivors of rape and sexual assault.

"What you are doing is allowing someone who actually violated a woman to sit on the Supreme Court", Archila said.

"On Monday, I stood in front of your office", Ana Maria Archila, co-executive director of the non-profit Centre for Popular Democracy Action, told Senator Flake. "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", Flake said in his statement. "I told you of my story of my sexual assault". He has called Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford a "very fine woman" who gave "very compelling" testimony, and added that the Senate should do "whatever they think is necessary". He'd do so, Flake said, if the vote was delayed a week so the FBI could investigate "credible allegations" against the nominee. That's what you're telling me.

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Archila, who identified herself in a New York Times interview, told the newspaper she wanted Flake to "feel [her] rage". "A US senator confronted by two, I believe, two women who say they have been raped themselves". They refused to let the doors close and berated him for almost five minutes. "Do you think that he's telling the truth?"

According to the website for Popular Democracy, Archila is the co-executive director of the liberal advocacy group, which is based in NY.

"What are you doing, senator?" one of the women yelled at Flake.

After four and a half minutes, with security apparently on the way, the door of the elevator is finally allowed to close.

Dr. Ford testified yesterday that Mark Judge was "ambivalent" during the assault, at some times encouraging Kavanaugh as he pinned down and groped and silenced Dr. Ford, and at other times telling Kavanuagh to stop. "So I was carrying that anger today, but I was also hoping that Senator Flake had experienced a similar kind of rage and indignation at the spectacle of that hearing".

Republican senator Jeff Flake of Arizona just provided it. "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". "This is not tolerable!" one woman said.

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