- The woman who confronted Sen. Jeff Flake in an elevator and urged him not to support then Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh amid sexual-misconduct allegations will be attending the State of the Union address.
- Ana Maria Archila told The Intercept that she will be going as the guest of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who represents her district.
- Archila’s speech to Flake before he was to vote on advancing Kavanaugh’s nomination went viral.
- She told Flake: “What you are doing is allowing someone who actually violated a woman to sit on the Supreme Court. This is not tolerable.”
- Immediately after Archila’s speech, Flake called for a one-week delay in the vote so the FBI could investigate a sexual-assault claim made against Kavanaugh.
The woman who cornered Sen. Jeff Flake in an elevator over his support for then Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh amid accusations of sexual misconduct will be Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s guest to the State of the Union address on Tuesday.
Ana Maria Archila and other protesters confronted Flake in an elevator last September, when he was on his way to the Senate Judiciary Committee to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination, despite multiple women’s claims that he had sexually assaulted them or that they had seen him engaging in sexual misconduct.
Archila, who is the coexecutive director of the Center for Popular Democracy, gave an emotional address to Flake that broadcast live on CNN and went viral on social media.
Their interaction was credited with prompting Flake’s decision to call for a one-week delay in the Senate vote so that the FBI could investigate the claims against Kavanaugh after Christine Blasey Ford, a professor at Palo Alto University, testified to the Senate that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her when they were in high school.
Here's part of the video of Jeff Flake being confronted by protestors in the Senate hallways this morning pic.twitter.com/ruFxFJsWvV
— Bob Bryan (@RobertBryan4) September 28, 2018
“On Monday, I stood in front of your office. I told the story of my sexual assault. I told it because I recognised in Dr. Ford’s story that she is telling the truth,” Archila can be heard telling Flake in a video of her confrontation.
“What you are doing is allowing someone who actually violated a woman to sit on the Supreme Court,” she added. “This is not tolerable.”
“I have two children. 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,” she said. “What are you doing, sir?”
Flake ultimately voted to confirm Kavanaugh, who repeatedly denied all the accusations and is now a Supreme Court Justice.
Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Monday that she was “proud” to announce Archila as her guest and said Archila’s actions managed to “elevate the stories of survivors everywhere.”
She also said Archila is “living proof that the courage within all of us” can change the world.
Ana Maria is the NY14-er who famously jumped into the elevator with Sen. Flake to elevate the stories of survivors everywhere.
She‘s living proof that the courage within all of us can change the ????. https://t.co/OLSeNbP4Z2
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 4, 2019
Archila, who is one of Ocasio-Cortez’s constituents in Queens, told The Intercept that she was “moved” by Ocasio-Cortez’s invitation.
“I just feel particularly moved that in her first participation in the State of the Union she is inviting me to join and inviting that moment of the elevator, my confrontation with the men who do not understand the life of women and the lives of people who are not in power, that she’s inviting that into the imagination of people again,” Archila said.
Ocasio-Cortez dropped a hint on Twitter on Saturday about who she was bringing to the address.
“Y’all aren’t ready for NY-14’s #StateOfTheUnion guest!” she wrote.
“Here’s a hint: I just picked up this gift for them at our very own Lockwood Shop in Jackson Heights,” she added, attaching a photo of a pin that says: “Well behaved women rarely make history.”
Y’all aren’t ready for NY-14’s #StateOfTheUnion guest!
Here’s a hint: I just picked up this gift for them at our very own Lockwood Shop in Jackson Heights ???? pic.twitter.com/wSv23WmJ9k
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 2, 2019
Ocasio-Cortez, like most Democrats, opposed Kavanaugh’s confirmation, and she spoke at a rally opposing his confirmation in October.
President Donald Trump will give the State of the Union address on Tuesday at 5 p.m.
Trump has said the theme of his speech will be “unity,” though he has hinted that he may drop major bombshells such as declaring a national emergency to get border-wall funding and announce a new summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
He has also told aides that he wants to focus on abortion in his speech, according to Politico.
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