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The floor is not yours.
STUCK

Jeff Flake’s strange, caught-in-between day in Washington, in photos

By Johnny Simon

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.

J.D. Durkin/Cheddar/via Reuters
Senator Jeff Flake reacts as protesters approach him in a Capitol elevator.
J.D. Durkin/Cheddar/via Reuters
A protester steps into the elevator doorway to confront Flake.

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.

Reuters/Jim Bourg
Lindsey Graham talks to Jeff Flake about his vote as they depart with Ted Cruz after the judiciary committee voted to move the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh forward to the full Senate.
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
Committee chairman Chuck Grassley speaks with Democrats Dianne Feinstein and Patrick Leahy.
Reuters/Jim Bourg
Flake confers with Patrick Leahy and Dianne Feinstein
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
Flake speaks with Graham at the conclusion of the session.