US senator Jeff Flake began the day announcing his intention to vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. He ended caught in between his Republican colleagues and their Democratic opponents.
Flake made his decision known the day after Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has accused him of sexual-assault as a teenager, testified in Washington DC before the Senate judiciary committee Flake is a member of.
Shortly after his decision was announced today (Sept. 28), Flake entered an elevator in the US Capitol and was confronted by two women who said they are survivors of sexual abuse themselves. With fervor, they asked him to change his mind. It was a staggering moment, caught on video as well in photos.
When the committee met shortly after, Flake surprised many in the room by saying he would like to delay a floor vote on Kavanaugh until the FBI is given time to investigate Ford’s claims.
Photos from before and after his announcement illustrate the tensions underscoring the partisan divide on the Republican-led committee—and Flake’s uncomfortable position within the majority.