The GOP-Hired Prosecutor May Have Inadvertently Triggered a Police Investigation Into Kavanaugh Alleged Assault
Senate Republicans chose Rachel Mitchell, an experienced sex crimes prosecutor who leads the special-victims division of the Maricopa County attorney’s office in Arizona, to handle their questioning in Thursday’s hearing into Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation that Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her. They thought a professional prosecutor might help cast doubt on Ford’s testimony. If that was their hope, they must be gravely disappointed.
By bringing a prosecutor, Republicans attempted to make Ford seem deceptive or unfairly question her. Mitchell took a methodical approach with Ford, asking her about everything from the small details of the assault to potential inconsistencies in her story. But the lawyer’s questions seemed piecemeal and vaguely insinuating, while Ford stuck to her story.
The morning’s hearing finished up with no clear outcome, and certainly nothing that could help the Republicans. In fact, Mitchell ended up making things more complicated for Kavanaugh and his GOP allies.
Republicans realized this as soon as she started questioning Kavanaugh.
Mitchell started by giving Kavanaugh a definition of “sexual behavior,” noting that it “includes rubbing or grinding your genitals against somebody, clothed or unclothed.”
She then proceeded to ask the nominee his drinking habits, and whether he had ever woken up in a “different condition” or with “fewer clothes” than when he remembered going to sleep. She ran through the sexual allegations Ford had made. Kavanaugh, visibly uncomfortable, denied everything with a simple “no.”
Mitchell’s line of questioning could have immense implications beyond the Senate hearing room. The details she uncovered during the hearing could potentially shape the opinions of Maryland prosecutors, who may now be considering an investigation into these allegations. Mitchell even mentioned this in questions to Kavanaugh, asking whether he’s aware that this kind of incident would be investigated by local police, and that there is no statute of limitations on the kind of crime he’s being accused of.
The American people will be judging Ford and Kavanaugh based on this hearing. But prosecutors may also be judging whether they have a potential case, which could lead to a cascade of legal and political complications for Kavanaugh and others who have been implicated.
Michell’s truth bomb spook Republicans, who quickly took over the floor and didn’t let her ask another question.
From there on, Republicans decided to attack Democrats and defend Kavanaugh while avoiding questions about the allegations.