This photo from the Kavanaugh hearing is 'one for the history books'

28 September, 2018, 09:39 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • GOP picks female prosecutor to question Kavanaugh, accuser

For the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the sexual assault allegations brought by California psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Republicans brought in Rachel Mitchell, an Arizona sex crimes prosecutor, to question Ford and the judge on their behalf.

Career sex crimes prosecutor selected to lead the questioning for the Kavanaugh hearing is considered a 'leader in the field.' William La Jeunesse has more on Rachel Mitchell's background.

"You could tell that she, too, was frustrated", Senator Dick Durbin, a committee Democrat, said of Mitchell.

Senators have said they want to hear from Ford, who has declined as of yet to provide the Judiciary Committee with written testimony, which comes under the penalty of perjury if found to be false, in contrast to Kavanaugh and the three others who have disputed Ford's claim. "The goal is to de-politicize the process and get to the truth, instead of grandstanding and giving senators an opportunity to launch their presidential campaign", he said.

"It also tells people who have been victimized by people in authority that someone is listening and will do something about it", she said, Reuters reported at the time.

"She's out of her field here", said Rick Romley, a former Maricopa County attorney who was once Mitchell's boss.

Mitchell questioned Ford about her fear of flying, gaps in her memory not only around the time of the alleged incident, but also in more recent episodes, and about her decision to take a polygraph test. She has taken a leave of absence to come to Washington.

Her work has earned her numerous awards in her state, including in 2003 when she was recognized as the "Outstanding Arizona Sexual Assault Prosecutor of the Year" by her state's governor and attorney general.

"It is a hard assignment to prosecute sex offenses", said Bill Montgomery, Maricopa County attorney.

Sex crimes prosecutor to question Kavanaugh...

It was a crucial moment in Christine Blasey Ford's testimony Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Under Mitchell's leadership, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office was honored for creating a sexual assault backlog program. She has faced Mitchell, a Republican, as an adversary in more than 30 cases over 20 years.

At one point, in response to Mitchell's comment about how this wasn't the best forum to explore her allegations, Ford agreed it would have been better if she could have testified at home without having to do this publicly in D.C. - except she could have done exactly that.

Koegler said Ford identified the person who assaulted her as Kavanaugh in June, when Kavanaugh was considered a leading contender to replace retiring Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.

Sen. Susan Collins of ME, a key undecided Republican, told reporters she will be "glued to the television" during Thursday's hearing.

What cases has Rachel Mitchell prosecuted?

Neither Dr. Blasey Ford nor Judge Kavanaugh is on trial.

"We have hired a female assistant to go on staff and to ask these questions in a respectful and professional way", he said.


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