Mitchell Begins Questions Apologizing That Ford Is 'Terrified': 'That's Not Right'

Mitchell Begins Questions Apologizing That Ford Is 'Terrified': 'That's Not Right'

Mitchell Begins Questions Apologizing That Ford Is 'Terrified': 'That's Not Right'

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. As for her questioning of Kavanaugh, there barely was any, because the 11 male Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee no longer needed the veneer of equity that Mitchell's female face - imagine! a group of male senators questioning a woman's story of sexual assault or harassment - provided them during Ford's testimony.

Hence the introduction of Mitchell, whose role was announced by Chuck Grassley, the senator from Iowa and chair of the judiciary committee, on Friday.

Rachel Mitchell is a deputy Maricopa County attorney and chief of their sex crimes division. "Over the course of Rachel's career, she has dealt with victims in this very circumstance of delayed disclosure and circumstances where allegations were hard to corroborate", he says. "The committee meeting is going to go ahead because I don't feel we should disadvantage Dr. Ford anymore than she's already been disadvantaged in the sense of people wondering if the hearing was going to be last week or this week or whatever else".

While Griffin has strong opinions on Mitchell, others have commended her questioning, especially noting that Mitchell acknowledged Ford's fears about the hearing and attempted to make the questioning as pain-free as possible.

The news release describes Mitchell as "a career prosecutor with decades of experience prosecuting sex crimes". "When I became an attorney with the office, I prosecuted other kinds of cases, but I was drawn back to this area", Mitchell said in a 2011 interview with FrontLine magazine, a religious publication.

She has been named Arizona's Outstanding Sexual Assault Prosecutor as well as Maricopa County Attorney's Office Prosecutor of the Year. Using a map, Mitchell showed that if the party were within one mile of the country club from which Ford claimed she came before the party, it would be between 6.2 and 8.2 miles from her home.

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Two men have also come forward saying they, not Kavanaugh, had the alleged sexual encounter with Ford. Judge Kavanaugh has yet to respond formally to this specific allegation.

"The people of America are well served with her involvement in this process", he said.

The tenor of the questions suggested that Mitchell was trying, if gently, to question the reliability of Ford's recollections and portray Ford as a pawn of Democrats who are out to stop Kavanaugh at any cost.

In the early 2000s, when the Catholic Church was first rocked by sex abuse scandals, Mitchell led the Maricopa County Attorney's Office sex crime unit as it prosecuted Rev. Paul LeBrun, the first priest in the Phoenix area who went to trial for child abuse.

Mitchell will question Ford and Kavanaugh for Republican senators, while Democratic senators have chosen to question the pair themselves.

But then she turned to her task, asking a series of small questions about the accuracy of statements Ford made. But Grassley's clumsy interjection was one moment (among many) that showed why bringing in Mitchell was the exact right decision: Because if Thursday's hearing was to be a genuine fact-finding mission, then she was the ideal choice.

"We can stipulate to that", one of Ford's lawyers said. All said Ford told them about the alleged assault before Kavanaugh's nomination to the high court.

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