Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake became a trending topic on Twitter after requesting a delay on the final Senate vote for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh until the FBI can complete a week-long investigation into the sexual harassment allegations against the judge.
Friday's Senate Judiciary Committee meeting ended with a confusing series of events. Flake agreed to vote yes with the 10 other Republican Senators to pass Kavanaugh's nomination to the main Senate floor.
However, after consulting with Democrats off-camera, Flake said he would not vote for Kavanaugh during the main vote if the FBI did not complete an investigation.
"I think it would be proper to delay the floor vote for up to but not more than one week," Flake said after the negotiations, reports CNN. "We ought to do what we can to make sure that we do all due diligence with a nomination this important."
It is still not clear if the FBI investigation will happen or if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would delay the vote for one to be complete. President Donald Trump would have to order the FBI to launch and investigation. Trump did not immediately oppose the idea, instead telling reporters, "Whatever they think is necessary is OK."
"This is all gentlemen's and women's agreement," Sen. Chuck Grassley, the judicial committee chairman, was heard saying after the vote.
Aside from Flake, Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski are also considered Republican swing votes.
Flake's decision came after he was confronted by two female protesters on an elevator, minutes after his office released a statement saying he would vote to approve Kavanaugh. The women both told Flake they were sexually assaulted. The entire scene was shown live on CNN.
"What you are doing is allowing someone who actually violated a woman to sit on the Supreme Court. This is not tolerable. You have children in your family. Think about them. I have two children," one woman, Ana Maria Archilla, told Flake. "I cannot imagine that for the next 50 years they will have to have someone in the Supreme Court who has been accused of violating a young girl. What are you doing, sir?"
The other woman, Maria Gallagher, told Flake she was sexually assaulted and no one believed her.
"I didn't tell anyone and you're telling all women that they don't matter, that they should just stay quiet because if they tell you what happened to them you are going to ignore them," Gallagher said. "That's what happened to me, and that's what you are telling all women in America, that they don't matter. They should just keep it to themselves because if they have told the truth you're just going to help that man to power anyway."
Flake was visibly uncomfortable during the scene, and looked at the ground. Instead of answering, he told the CNN cameras he had to get to the hearing.
The scene unfolded after Thursday's testimony from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in 1982 at a party. Kavanaugh testified later in the day and denied the allegations.
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