Published: Fri, September 28, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Who is the Arizona prosecutor chosen to question Kavanaugh and his accuser?

Who is the Arizona prosecutor chosen to question Kavanaugh and his accuser?

The historic Senate hearing featuring dueling testimony from USA supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and university professor Dr Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused him of sexual assault, has arguably left Washington even more bitterly divided than it was before. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz delegated their time to sex crimes prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, whom committee Republicans hired to ask questions of Ford for the GOP senators, a move widely viewed as saving the panel's 11 Republican men from the optics of questioning a woman who has alleged sexual assault.

Mitchell's performance was panned on both sides: Republicans and Kavanaugh supporters said it was a mistake to have her methodically question Ford about the time line rather than allowing GOP senators to question her about things like the fact that the three people she named as being at the party all say they don't recollect it (including a female friend). Mitchell also asked Ford why she only contacted Democratic lawmakers about her allegation.

"I've told her good luck and I know that she'll be professional and confident and do her job well and stay off the internet", said Nanetti. "In particular, Mitchell has for many years instructed detectives, prosecutors, child-protection workers, and social workers on the best practices for forensic interviews of victims of sex crimes", the statement said, noting Mitchell has received multiple awards for her work. Her story came out clear.

Christine Blasey Ford struggled through an emotional testimony. When Senator Chuck Grassley, the chairman, interrupted her to tell her first five minutes were over, Mitchell seemed flustered. Republicans huddled after the hearing, while Donald Trump demanded the Senate proceed with a vote, leaving a handful of possibilities for Kavanaugh's prospects in the coming days.

During Cornyn's time, Mitchell asked Ford to tell the committee how she narrowed down the timeline of when the assault occurred.

"Even with Ms. Mitchell trying to cross examine her, trying to poke holes in her, trying to show inconsistencies-nothing, zero, they poked no holes that mattered", she said.

Mitchell is a career prosecutor and registered Republican from Arizona who specializes in sex abuse cases.

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As senators questioned an irate Kavanaugh and the environment became increasingly vitriolic, Mitchell faded into the foreground, nestled within a semicircle of blustering, finger-pointing senators.

Nevertheless, Mitchell was chosen by Judiciary Committee chair Chuck Grassley to "depoliticize the process and get to the truth", as said in a statement.

"I couldn't hear the conversation", Dr. Ford replied. And they specifically looked for a woman to question Ford.

Later she was asked to detail exactly what she remembered. They repeated this during the hearings with Kavanaugh as well.

Later, Mitchell pressed Ford repeatedly to reveal who paid for a polygraph exam that Ford took in the late summer. They said they want to avoid an overtly political process.

"We as prosecutors can only file cases that we feel there's a reasonable likelihood of conviction and so that is not really her role tomorrow", says Nanetti.

Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) asked Kavanaugh about the other women's allegations that have been made public since Ford's allegation was leaked.

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