GOP-chosen format for Christine Blasey Ford testimony gave advantage to Democrats

Arturo Kim
September 28, 2018

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.

"Would you believe me if I told you that there's no study that says this setting, in five-minute increments, is the best way to do that", Mitchell asked Ford. Dr. Ford got her story out.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., changed all that late Thursday afternoon.

In a letter to ranking member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Grassley wrote: "I am not going to silence Dr. Ford after I promised and assured her that I would provide her a safe, comfortable, and dignified opportunity to testify ..."

Since Ford came forward, allegations from two other women have emerged.

Michael Bromwich, an attorney for Ford, said previously in a statement, "This is not a criminal trial for which the involvement of an experienced sex crimes prosecutor would be appropriate". Mitchell will speak for five minutes for each Republican senator, but will alternate with Democrats.

Though the hearing riveted many people across the country, the immediate audience for those questions, which sought to show a Democratic plot to push Ford's testimony into the public sphere, was much smaller: President Trump and a handful of undecided Republican senators who will decide the fate of this nomination. While Thursday's hearing is as partisan and politically charged as Congress gets, Westerhausen said her friend is all legal - not political - in court.

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

Mitchell, a Republican, was expected to question both Kavanaugh and his accuser at Thursday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

Ford, Kavanaugh and a Senate hearing
Patrick Leahy asked for her strongest memory of the incident, Ford, 51, replied, " Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter ". Committee staff also spoke by phone "with another man who believes he, not Judge Kavanuagh, had the encounter with Dr.


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We watched as Republican-appointed prosecutor Rachel Mitchell asked specific questions directed at calling Ford's honesty or memory into question.

Rachel Mitchell, a prosecutor since 1993, is now on leave as the deputy county attorney in the Maricopa County Attorney's Office in Phoenix, Arizona.

"I couldn't hear the conversation", Dr. Ford replied.

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. "She got there, and that is when the blowup happened and she was sacked".

Hill faced a blistering set of questions in nationally televised hearings, sparking liberal energy heading into the 1992 elections, in which female candidates won campaigns at historic levels to that point - 1992 was dubbed the "Year of the Woman".

Mitchell is a registered Republican, according to the Washington Post. They repeated this during the hearings with Kavanaugh as well. If the Republican senators had cross-examined Ford, they might have grown just as livid as they did during Kavanaugh's hearing, Bender said.

Prosecutor Rachel Mitchell was selected to conduct the questioning.

"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. Kavanaugh has denied the claim, and all the people Ford said were at the party have said they weren't there, and Ford has been unable to name a specific date, time, or place of the alleged incident.

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