Published: Thu, September 27, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Who is the Arizona prosecutor chosen to question Kavanaugh and his accuser?

Who is the Arizona prosecutor chosen to question Kavanaugh and his accuser?

A sex-crimes prosecutor tapped by Senate Republicans to question Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh about allegations of sexual assault could have a tough time in such a contentious political environment, Arizona attorneys who know her said Wednesday.

"She is a widely recognized expert on the investigation and prosecution of sex crimes and has frequently served as a speaker and instructor on the subject".

Few could argue with Grassley's claim that Mitchell, a registered Republican, boasts a wealth of experience.

Mitchell said she had been drawn to prosecuting sex crimes after a stint working as a law clerk for an attorney on a case involving a youth choir director. The Republican members all ceded their time for questions to Mitchell, a veteran sex crimes prosecutor. Mitchell is the sex crimes Division Chief for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.

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.

On Thursday, however, she'll be handling a case unlike any she's ever prosecuted.

But he said that if Mitchell had asked him, he would have recommended she not take the assignment because an investigation hasn't been conducted into the allegations and Mitchell hasn't been given much time to prepare for the hearing.

"Her bottom line is justice", Nannetti said.

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County attorney Bill Montgomery praised Mitchell in a statement.

Ford and Kavanaugh's testimony will begin at 10 a.m. Thursday. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) dated September 19, Grassley said that he had extended an offer to Ford to send people to California to interview Ford there. He plans to hold a committee vote on Kavanaugh at 9:30 a.m. Friday, the day after the hearing.

She'll be in the pivotal role of representing the 11 Republican - and male - members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who selected Mitchell in part to avoid the appearance of an all-male GOP bloc scrutinizing Ford's allegations. All said Ford told them about the alleged assault before Kavanaugh's nomination to the high court.

Tasha Menaker of the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual Violence said she worked with Mitchell for three years on the protocol and found her to be "very experienced, intelligent, detail oriented and very straightforward".

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.

"Dr. Ford", Grassley said, "I want to correct the record, but it's not something that I'm saying that you stated wrongly because you might not know the fact that when you said that you didn't think it was possible for us to go to California as a committee or our investigators to go to California to talk to you, we did, in fact, offer that to you, and we had the capability of doing it".

Arizona criminal defense attorney Tracey Westerhausen, who is also a close friend of Mitchell's, told CNN that Mitchell's reputation in the courtroom is that she's "extremely prepared" and "extremely methodical".

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