A viral video shows an Astoria woman and sexual assault survivor confronting Arizona Senator Jeff Flake just before he and the Senate Judiciary Committee were set to vote on moving forward the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
The Republican senator, considered a key swing vote, was stopped during a CNN live shot on his way to the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this morning.
One of the women was Astoria’s own Ana Maria Archila Gualy, the co-executive director of the Center for Popular Democracy. Both women, who say they have experienced sexual assault, condemned Flake for his purported disregard for the pain and suffering of women.
“Look at me when I’m talking to you. You’re telling me that my assault doesn’t matter. That what happened to me doesn’t matter. That you’re going to let people who do those things into power,” said the second woman as Archila used her foot to hold the elevator.
In the video, Flake could not look either woman in the eye and stood still in the corner of the elevator as his staff asked for security.
“You are allowing someone who is unwilling to take responsibly for his actions to sit in the highest court of country,” said Archila in a shaking voice. “Do you think he is able to hold the pain of this country and repair it? That is the work of justice.”
As the elevator door started to close on Archila, Flake responded by saying thank you.
“I need to go to the hearing,” Flake then told reporters. “I just issued a statement. I’ll be saying more as well.”
Kavanaugh has been accused by Christine Blasey Ford of sexually assaulting her in high school in the early 1980s. Two other women have also come out to say that the potential Supreme Court Judge assaulted them.
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines, 11-10, to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination to the full Senate for a vote. However, at Flake’s request, the Republican leadership agreed to delay a floor vote for no more than a week to allow the FBI to investigate the sexual assault claims against the Supreme Court nominee.
So proud of Ana Maria Archila Gualy of #Astoria, #Queens who was one of two women in that elevator calling out @JeffFlake this morning. Such a powerful moment. Talk about #QueensValues pic.twitter.com/i7k6df4nHD
— Jimmy Van Bramer (@JimmyVanBramer) September 28, 2018