Arizona sex crimes prosecutor will question Brett Kavanaugh, accuser during hearing

Chris Wattie  Reuters

Chris Wattie Reuters

The American Bar Association has urged the Senate Judiciary Committee and the full Senate to slow down on the vote on Brett Kavanaugh for a position on the Supreme Court until the Federal Bureau of Investigation has time to do a full background check on claims of sexual assault made by Christine Blasey (blah-zee) Ford and other women. Currently, she's the deputy Maricopa County attorney and head of the special victims division.

"The goal is to de-politicize the process and get to the truth, instead of grandstanding and giving senators an opportunity to launch their presidential campaigns", he said in a statement. Republican members of the committee are yielding their allotted time to her to ask their questions.

Mitchell will take the lead for Republicans in questioning Christine Blasey Ford on Thursday about her allegations that Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed, groped her and tried to remove her clothes at a party in the early 1980s when she was 15 and he was 17. He received a 30-year prison sentence with lifetime probation.

"It was different than anything that I would have ever imagined it being", she said.

ORTIZ: She was willing to rise to the challenge of tackling some of the most emotionally charged cases that prosecutors deal with.

In this October 27, 2004 photo Rachel Mitchell makes an opening statement in the trial of Karl LeClaire at court in Mesa, Ariz.

Mitchell has not responded to requests for comment sent through the county attorney's main office.

In her very first exchange with Ford, Mitchell began by expressing sympathy for Ford, who said she was "terrified" to testify, saying, "I just wanted to let you know, I'm very sorry".

Her boss, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, told the Arizona Republic that Mitchell is a "professional, fair, objective prosecutor" and has a "caring heart" for victims.

As well, the three witnesses whom Ford claims were present at the house have denied all knowledge of her claims under penalty of purjury - not to mention Kavanaugh's forceful and often emotional denial in testimony, which stunned observers coming from the normally mild-mannered federal judge.

"I would describe her as a poised and pointed cross-examiner", said Phoenix defense attorney Tracey Westerhausen. He says she's a prosecutor through and through.

John G. Hertzler, a former Star Trek actor who ran for Congress in NY this year, claimed that Rachel Mitchell was "former prosecutor under Joe Arpaio of Arizona".

She was named the County Attorney's Office Prosecutor of the Year in 2006; in 2003, she was recognized by then-Gov.

He called her "victim centered", but not so much so that she loses objectivity.

Her allegations, along with those of another woman, have put Kavanaugh's lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court in jeopardy.

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.

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office said Mitchell has been "instrumental" in developing protocols for investigating child abuse and sexual assault cases "enhancing the ability for victims to be treated with fairness, dignity and respect while holding offenders accountable".

ROMLEY: Undoubtedly, there are some Republicans that are going to say go for the jugular.

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