Rachel Mitchell: I wouldn’t prosecute him

Respected Arizona Prosecutor Chosen To Question Kavanaugh, Ford

Tracy Westerhausen, a Phoenix defense attorney who has gone up against Mitchell in 30 cases, over more than 20 years, said she has developed a close friendship with Mitchell over their time on opposite sides of the courtroom.

Rachel Mitchell, a Republican, was expected to question both Kavanaugh and the first woman to accuse him of sexual misconduct at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham furiously attacked the Democrats on the panel, denounced the process as a "sham" and called Kavanaugh's treatment "the most despicable thing I have ever seen in politics".

She has been named Arizona's Outstanding Sexual Assault Prosecutor as well as Maricopa County Attorney's Office Prosecutor of the Year.

Her office said she was not available for interviews yesterday.

This time, it could be the four Democratic committee members who were prosecutors or attorneys general who could ask Kavanaugh the toughest questions.

But, he added: "There is nothing in this process to make me comfortable that this process is about fairness, truth and evidence".

Her most notable case was in 2005, when Mitchell went up against Rev. Paul LeBrun, a former Roman Catholic priest transferred to Arizona who had been accused of molesting boys in the 1980s and 1990s, and four other boys in his former parish in IN before that.

"If she gives him a pass, if she doesn't dig down and get the guy to squirm, it could hurt her reputation", said Cantor, who runs the Phoenix law firm DM Cantor. CNN's Wolf Blitzer suggested people watching in their homes were crying as they listened to her story.

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

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.

A registered Republican, Mitchell has worked for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office for 26 years.

Mitchell is a registered Republican who has lectured across the USA about sexual assault investigations.

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STONE: But Romley says, frankly, he's concerned that she's headed into what he describes as a no-win situation, and he would have advised her against doing it.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, Mitchell's current boss, doesn't share those concerns.

"Over the course of Rachel's career, she has dealt with victims in this very circumstance of delayed disclosure and circumstances where allegations were hard to corroborate", Montgomery said. "This is a different setting".

Mitchell was part of the team of prosecutors who pressed cases against Catholic priests in a sex abuse scandal about 15 years ago in Phoenix.

In an interview published in 2012 in FrontLine Magazine, the magazine for conservative Christian group Foundations Baptist Fellowship global, Mitchell said she was drawn to fighting sex crimes against children after working with a senior attorney who was assigned a case where the offender was a youth choir director.

Mitchell has helped train psychologists, medical professionals, forensic interviewers and detectives in sex-crimes issues. Ford replied that she contacted her representative in Congress, Rep. Anna Eshoo, a Democrat, and that Eshoo recommended contacting Feinstein, a California senator and the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.

An analysis of social media sentiment conducted by the Ipsos polling firm using an artificial intelligence prototype found that positive sentiment directed toward Ford increased each time she spoke, said pollster Chris Jackson.

Montgomery said he didn't talk with anyone in Washington about picking Mitchell for the job before that. "It struck me how innocent and vulnerable the victims of these cases really were", she said.

"She's extremely competent. Thorough".

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

Rachel Mitchell was selected by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley to lead the GOP's questioning at Thursday's hearing into the sexual assault accusations made against Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Mitchell helped create the first-ever sex-crimes protocol for the county attorney office's that was introduced previous year.

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