One of the women who confronted Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake in a Capitol elevator Friday said she hopes other Republican senators listen to the stories of women who have been sexually assaulted.
Ana Maria Archila and Maria Gallagher stopped Flake on Friday morning and spent nearly five minutes shouting at the Arizona lawmaker after they learned he had decided to support the US Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Archila said Friday night she was looking for Flake to step up.
“Both of us were just enraged,” Archila said in an interview on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360.” “I wanted him to be a hero.”
The elevator encounter came amid the fast-moving, highly charged debate over Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court and allegations of sexual assault brought against him by multiple women.
A short time after the confrontation, Flake said he would not vote to confirm Kavanaugh without an FBI investigation into his past. When asked by reporters Friday, he wouldn’t say the encounter with Archila and Gallagher specifically changed his mind but that “everything” was weighing on him.
The day before, Kavanaugh testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that he never sexually assaulted anyone, including Christine Blasey Ford.
A university professor, Ford alleges Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers in 1982. She testified before the same panel immediately ahead of Kavanaugh.
Archila said she thinks Flake was moved not just by her and Gallagher’s stories of being sexually assaulted, but also by other women, including Ford, who have recently stepped forward.
She said she hopes Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska are similarly affected.