Jeff Flake loves to stand up to Donald Trump, as long as absolutely nothing consequential to him is on the line. On Sunday, Flake went on 60 Minutes to describe his decision to request that the Senate delay its vote to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court for a week, while the FBI investigates multiple allegations of sexual assault against the nominee.
Flake sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which held center stage for the entire news cycle last week as it questioned both Kavanaugh and his first accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, who says that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party in high school. Following the hearing, the Judiciary Committee’s Republican Majority (including Flake) voted to send Kavanaugh’s nomination through to the Senate as a whole (the vote was 11-10 along party lines in Committee). Prior to the vote, after expressing support for Kavanaugh, Flake was directly confronted by two protestors in a Capitol Hill elevator, who insisted that he listen to their stories of sexual assault.
The direct action actually appeared to leave a mark: shortly after the vote, Flake requested that the Judiciary Committee allow the FBI to re-open Kavanaugh’s background check, covering his own ass in the process.
On 60 Minutes Sunday night, anchor Scott Pelley asked Flake if he would have made that same move if he were up for re-election this year.
Flake’s answer: “Not a chance.”
See it for yourself:
Flake tried to spin the statement into a lament on the death of bipartisanship, but really, it’s nice of him to clarify for us that he would abandon all semblance of political courage if it meant getting to sleep in his office for a few more terms.