Published: Sun, September 30, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Prosecutor picked to question Kavanaugh, accuser called fair

Prosecutor picked to question Kavanaugh, accuser called fair

The decision by Senate Republicans to bring in Mitchell, who has spent her career prosecuting sex crimes, had been met by derision and skepticism from Democrats.

Arizona prosecutor Rachel Mitchell will question Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the woman accusing him of sexual misconduct, Christine Blasey Ford, during Thursday's highly anticipated Senate testimony.

On Thursday, after hearing Ford's opening statement detailing how Brett Kavanaugh tried to force himself on her when they were in high school, Mitchell smiled sympathetically.

The American Bar Association has called on the Senate Judiciary Committee to delay the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh so that the FBI can investigate the sexual assault accusations against him, the Washington Post reported.

As Ford gave her emotional testimony before the committee, each of the 11 Republican senators deferred their five minutes to Mitchell to question Ford. She supervises attorneys who handle cases involving child molestation, sexual assault and computer crimes against children.

The division Mitchell heads deals with family violence, physical and sexual abuse of children, and sex offenses, including sex assault cases.


Multiple Republican lawmakers haven't said which way they will vote, including two women with reputations as moderates who have been willing to buck their party: Sens.

This time, it could be the four Democratic committee members who were prosecutors or attorneys general who could ask Kavanaugh the toughest questions. "She's clearly competent", said Rick Romley, a former Maricopa County attorney.

"Ms. Mitchell has been recognized in the legal community for her experience and objectivity", Grassley continued.

Mitchell - who only 10 months earlier had been chosen to replace her boss as the head of the sex crimes unit at the Maricopa County Attorney's office in a surprise shake-up - had little recourse with the crimes in IN, as the statute of limitations had expired.

President Donald Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans have cast Ford's allegation as part of a Democratic smear campaign meant to thwart Kavanaugh's confirmation. LeBrun's prosecution resulted from an investigation into child sexual abuse allegations against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, and Mitchell was assigned the LeBrun case in 2005.

Committee chairman Chuck Grassley had broken into a conversation between Ford and prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, who was doing the questioning.


"The set-up for her that has been orchestrated is that she either has to refuse to testify, in which case she'll be attacked and criticized for that, or she comes in and testifies without the basic courtesy any prosecutor or lawyer would give any victim, which is a honest and thorough effort to investigate their claims", said Whitehouse.

After asking questions about Ford's mental illness, texts to reporters and fear of flying, sex-crimes prosecutor Rachel Mitchell appeared to intentionally eviscerate the entire format of the procedure.

"I promised Dr. Ford that I would do everything in my power to avoid a repeat of the "circus" atmosphere in the hearing room that we saw the week of September 4", Grassley said.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, Mitchell's boss, has praised Mitchell as an "objective" prosecutor with a "caring heart" for victims.

"She's been either a trial lawyer or a supervisor for decades".

Before Mitchell's name was revealed, Democrats criticized their Republican colleagues for leaving them in the dark and accused them of shirking their senatorial duties.


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