GOP’s ‘Female Assistant’ Rachel Mitchell Pokes Holes in Her Own Cross-Examination

Chris Wattie  Reuters

Chris Wattie Reuters

Blasey has come forward with allegations that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party over 30 years ago, when they were both high school students. She laid out guidelines for the hearing, then began asking Ford about five different pieces of information from the summer and fall, when Ford sought to share her story with elected officials and with the Washington Post.

Looking back on her career in 2011, Mitchell told Frontline she had been drawn to prosecuting sex crimes after working as a law clerk for a senior attorney on a case involving a youth choir director having committed an offense.

Ford was widely praised for her compelling and convincing testimony in Thursday's hearing, but the fact that she can't name the date and location of the alleged offence makes the claim hard to prosecute, experts say.

"The majority members have followed the bipartisan recommendation to hire as staff counsel for the committee an experienced career sex crimes prosecutor to question the witness at Thursday's hearing", said Grassley, who added the intention was to "depoliticize the process and get to the truth".

A Phoenix area attorney who specializes in sex abuse cases and once worked for prosecutor Rachel Mitchell says he is surprised she was picked to pose questions in the sexual assault investigation of Supreme Court nominee Brent Kavanaugh.

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.

"To my Republican colleagues, if you vote 'no, ' you're legitimizing the most despicable thing that I have seen in my time in politics", Graham said in an raging five-minute diatribe.

STONE: That's Elizabeth Ortiz, a former deputy prosecutor for the county who has known Mitchell for years.

Mitchell has trained others on how to make effective use of children who are victims of abuse. If the Republican senators had cross-examined Ford, they might have grown just as livid as they did during Kavanaugh's hearing, Bender said.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said he expected the council would conduct all questioning of Ford, "although I'm very capable of doing it". In a sworn statement, she said she witnessed Kavanaugh "consistently engage in excessive drinking and inappropriate contact of a sexual nature with women in the early 1980s".

"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. In the courtroom, representing victims, she has done outstanding work, he said.

Amid Mitchell's questioning, Steve Schmidt, an anti-Trump, former Republican operative who ran the late Sen.

The Republican strategy of appointing a female special counsel to question Christine Blasey Ford appeared to backfire.

Grassley said he appointed a woman from the outside in order to "depoliticize" the process and prevent a rerun of Anita Hill's testimony at Justice Clarence Thomas's 1991 confirmation hearing.

Also on Wednesday, Ford's legal team sent a letter to the Judiciary Committee with the results of a polygraph the California professor took on August 7, according to an attachment to the letter. Republicans are projecting confidence going into the hearing. "I'm in no way going to concede or accede my role as a United States senator".

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