Actors Amy Schumer and Emily Ratajkowski were among those arrested Thursday while demonstrating outside a US Senate building against the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.
“We were planning to shut down the Capitol Building but the authorities were so scared of this Women’s Wave that they shut it down for us,” the Women’s March tweeted, adding that “1000 plus women, survivors and allies have gathered in the Hart Senate Building.”
The tweet was accompanied by footage showing chanting protestors with signs on the floor of the atrium and on the levels above.
The protests came as senators were examining the results of an FBI investigation into Kavanaugh, whose nomination to the court has been derailed by accusations of sexual misconduct
We were planning to shut down the Capitol Building but the authorities were so scared of this #WomensWave that they shut it down for us.
— Women's March (@womensmarch) October 4, 2018
A final vote by the full Senate on Kavanaugh’s nomination could take place on Saturday.
Footage tweeted by Guardian columnist Holly Figueroa O’Reilly showed Schumer reply “yes” when asked by a police officer if she “wanted to get arrested.”
“Today I was arrested protesting the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, a man who has been accused by multiple women of sexual assault. Men who hurt women can no longer be placed in positions of power,” Ratajkowski posted on Twitter along with a photo of herself protesting
Today I was arrested protesting the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, a man who has been accused by multiple women of sexual assault. Men who hurt women can no longer be placed in positions of power. pic.twitter.com/nnwq1O4qk3
— Emily Ratajkowski (@emrata) October 4, 2018
Over one hundred people were arrested for refusing to leave the building, NBC reported, along with footage showing Schumer speaking with police.
The protest had begun at 12.30pm (1630 GMT) outside the nearby E Barrett Prettyman Courthouse where Kavanaugh is a federal appeals judge.
— Alexa Reyes (@alexareyesx) October 4, 2018
Meanwhile, two key Republican senators on Thursday indicated they were satisfied with the FBI investigation into the allegations against Kavanaugh, making it more likely the US Senate will confirm the Supreme Court nominee over the weekend.
US President Donald Trump’s Republicans have a 51-49 majority in the Senate, though Vice President Mike Pence can break a tie, meaning the Republicans can only afford one defection.
The full senate is voting on Kavanaugh this Saturday, October 6.
— Women's March (@womensmarch) October 5, 2018
Maine’s Senator Susan Collins was quoted by the Washington Post as saying “it appears to be a very thorough investigation, but I’m going back later to personally read the interviews.”
Senator Jeff Flake, representing Arizona, said a short time later that the report had found “no additional corroborating information” over the allegations.
Comment has not been provided by Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, the other Republican senator whose vote could prove critical to Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia was also reportedly undecided about his vote.
Earlier, Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, said the FBI report had “not corroborated” the accusations and that senators should avoid the “fundamentally un-American precedent” of finding someone guilty without evidence.
— Sarah #IBelieveChristine Newman (@NeeshNoosh) October 4, 2018
Democratic Senate minority leaders Dianne Feinstein and Chuck Schumer, however, decried the probe as “incomplete” and “too limited” in scope.
Feinstein said the report made available to senators was “the product of an incomplete investigation,” while Schumer said the probe had been “too limited” considering the fact that neither Kavanaugh nor his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, were interviewed.
“We didn’t learn anything new,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said of the probe, as well as expressing confidence that senators would vote to confirm the judge.
Asked to respond to the criticism of the probe levelled by Democratic senators, Sanders said: “We allowed the FBI to do exactly what they do best. We haven’t micromanaged this process. We accommodated all of the Senate’s requests.”
— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) October 4, 2018
The FBI report was requested by the Senate Judiciary Committee after Ford detailed her accusations against Kavanaugh in testimony that was widely considered credible. Two other women have also come forward with allegations against Kavanaugh.
Ford, a professor of psychology, accused Kavanaugh of attempting to rape her when they were both in high school. Shortly afterwards, Kavanaugh angrily and tearfully denied the charges before the judicial committee.
He also accused Democrats of an “orchestrated hit” on him fuelled by “revenge on behalf of the Clintons” – a strongly partisan remark from the candidate for a role that is supposed to be non-political.