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Ocasio-Cortez to bring Kavanaugh critic who confronted Flake in elevator to State of the Union

Ana Maria Archila says she is "honored" to be the guest of the star freshman Democrat during Trump's address Tuesday night.
Image: Jeff Flake
Ana Maria Archila confronts Sen. Jeff Flake in an elevator after Flake announced that he would vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Sept. 28, 2018.Jim Lo Scalzo / EPA file

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's guest for President Donald Trump's State of the Union address on Tuesday will be a sexual assault survivor who made headlines protesting his nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Ana Maria Archila says she is "honored" to be the guest of the star freshman Democrat and will sit in the gallery overlooking the chamber during Trump's address. She said she will wear white and a pin that the congresswoman gave her that says, "Well behaved women rarely make history."

In a tweet, the New York Democrat noted that Archila lived in her district, and called her "living proof that the courage within all of us can change" the world.

Archila cornered then-Sen. Jeff Flake at a Senate elevator in September and pleaded for the Republican lawmaker to reconsider voting for Kavanaugh, who was accused by Christine Blasey Ford of sexual assault. Ford told the Senate Kavanaugh had assaulted her at a gathering of teenagers when they were in high school in the early 1980s. Kavanaugh angrily denied the accusations during emotional testimony.

The Arizona senator's encounter with Archila, who identified herself as a sexual assault survivor, was caught on camera.

"You're telling me what happened to me doesn't matter," an emotional Archila told Flake. "Don't look away from me! Look at me and tell me that it doesn't matter what happened to me, that you will let people like that go into the highest court of the land."

Hours after the encounter, Flake — who'd earlier voted to move ahead with Kavanaugh's confirmation — successfully pushed for a one-week pause in the confirmation process to allow the FBI to investigate claims of sexual misconduct.

Democrats complained that investigation was incomplete, while Republicans maintained it vindicated Kavanaugh. He was confirmed 50-48.

Kavanaugh is expected to attend Tuesday's speech, along with the other members of the high court.

Archila is co-executive director of the Center for Popular Democracy. The New York-based nonprofit group tweeted out video of Ocasio-Cortez presenting Archila with the "Well-behaved women rarely make history" pin.

"I got us matching pins," Ocasio-Cortez told her. "We can wear them on Tuesday."