UPDATE: At about 12:45 several women were removed from the building and charged with trespassing. The move came after the women spoke with Manchin via a conference call. Both sides released statements afterward.
The Manchin Campaign:
“After working all day in Washington, Senator Manchin took time tonight to speak with the all of the protesters by phone and listen to their stories and views on Brett Kavanaugh.
“Senator Manchin made it clear that he will make his decision after he has all of the facts and the FBI finishes its investigation.
“After a long discussion, the campaign asked the 11 protesters to leave the office. When the protesters would not leave, the police escorted them off of the property.
“We do not want anyone arrested and will continue to have civil conversations about Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation, but it’s now midnight and our staff has the right to be respected also.” –
The protestors said:
The eight women still occupying Manchin’s headquarters into the night were detained at approximately 12:45am and escorted out of the building. This after the conference call with Manchin in which the Senator refused to make a commitment on his nomination vote.
Betsy Forester, a retired electrician and grandmother spoke to Manchin directly: “I believe women deserve respect. Senator Manchin, show you agree and vote no to Brett Kavanaugh. If you don’t, I will not have it in my conscience to vote for you this November.”
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — More than a dozen women said they planned on staying inside Senator Joe Manchin’s campaign headquarters in downtown Charleston Monday evening until they get a commitment from Manchin to vote against the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The campaign staff closed the office at 5 p.m. with the women inside. A campaign spokesperson said they were willing to listen to the women’s stories of their own sexual assaults and the police would not be called.
One of the protesters, Caitlin Gaffin, of Charleston, said the testimony last week by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who alleges she was sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh, brought back a lot of painful memories for many of the women who were part of Monday’s sit-in.
“Because we’ve been her. Dr. Ford is all of us,” Gaffin said. “Folks not believing her has stirred up a lot.”
“If Joe Manchin votes to confirm Kavanaugh, it will be just one more example of Manchin falling in line to advance his own interests, rather than serving the people and the women of West Virginia,” Katey Lauer of Fayette County said.
Manchin did release a statement saying he would make a decision on Kavanaugh after all of the facts are in.
Manchin’s complete statement:
“I will continue to listen to all West Virginians on the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, and, just like all big issues, I will look at the facts and my decision will be based on the facts.
“No man can understand the trauma that women experience from a sexual assault. My heart goes out to the brave survivors who have the courage to come forward and share their story. ”
Gaffin said there doesn’t have to be an FBI investigation to know that Kavanaugh is not good for West Virginians.
“We’re tired of politicians and other folks putting our safety and our bodily autonomy and personal autonomy second to their political gains,” Gaffin said.