The Story Behind That Striking Photo of Jeff Flake After the Kavanaugh Vote Bombshell

One of the reasons I moved from California to Washington, D.C., a year ago to photograph politics in the Donald Trump era was a curiosity about what happens outside of the frame of the television screen, such as the interactions between the staffers and the senators, and the senators with each other. I’m an independent photographer, credentialed to cover the members and halls of government, and like many others here I’m constantly in search of unique moments and scenes that convey the reality, and the gravity of it. Sometimes a photographic situation that I may like is not quite the “newsiest” of the day, but on Sept. 28 those two dynamics merged.

The day after sharply contrasting testimonies under oath from Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh regarding her sexual assault allegation, there was a sense of seriousness on Capitol Hill. With Trump’s seal of support for his already-controversial nominee that evening, the expectation on Friday was that the Senate Judiciary Committee would narrowly vote along party lines to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination to the full Senate. So while the committee’s hearing in the Dirksen Senate Office Building had tremendous weight, the outcome seemed certain.

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