Republicans add elite female prosecutor Rachel Mitchell to all-male panel formed to question Brett Kavanaugh accuser
Mitchell, who is a Republican, is now expected to question both Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday
A veteran prosecutor from Arizona, Rachel Mitchell, will reportedly handle questioning about allegations against President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Reports state that the Senate Republicans, who hired Mitchell, said that she is experienced, tough and objective in her approach.
Mitchell, who is a Republican, is now expected to question both Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday, according to reports.
Ford has alleged that Kavanaugh assaulted her when they were teenagers. The allegation has stirred a political storm in the #MeToo era, resulting in scrutiny of the all-male panel set up to question Ford. The scrutiny is likely what spurred the Republican Senate members to introduce a female prosecutor to be included in the questioning process.
Shortly after Ford's allegations were attacked by multiple senior Republican figures, including President Donald Trump, another victim came forward to accuse Kavanaugh of sexual harassment. The second victim, identitied as Deborah Ramirez, came forward on Sunday to accuse Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct during their time in Yale, and latest reports state that a third victim has also come forward, accusing the Supreme Court nominee of sexual harassment.
Prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, who works in the Maricopa County Attorney's Office in Phoenix as the chief of the Special Victims Division, oversees attorneys who handle cases involving child molestation, sexual assault and compute crimes against children in Arizona's most populous county, according to the Daily Mail.
The Senate Committee Chairman, Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, released a statement on Tuesday, saying: "Mitchell has been recognized in the legal community for her experience and objectivity."
Mitchell's supervisor, Maricopa County Attorney, Bill Montgomery, also praised her and called her an "objective prosecutor" who has a "caring heart" for victims, reports state. Bill Montgomery, in an interview with the Arizona Republic, said that the Judiciary Committee staff members had contacted him over the weekend inquiring about Mitchell's qualifications for the questioning.
Mitchell, in 2014, reportedly prosecuted a former church volunteer in the Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale, who in his capacity as a church baby sitter and camp counselor molested children in his care. The volunteer was sentenced to a lifetime probation with 30 years in prison, according to reports.
"People want to go to a church on a Sunday and feel safe," Mitchell had said at the time, while adding that the setting of the assailant's actions "should be taken into account."