She smiled and shook hands with Christine Blasey Ford — but any sensible person knew to watch for Rachel Mitchell’s knife hand. Predictably enough the Arizona prosecutor, hired by Senate Republicans to question Ford about her alleged 1982 assault by Brett Kavanaugh, issued a report denigrating the value of Ford’s testimony. (She had nothing to say at all about Kavanaugh’s wildly inappropriate and dubious appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee.)
As a woman and a professional sex crimes prosecutor, Mitchell showed up not only to buffer the Republican senators from looking like bullies but to burnish the whole process with a veneer of fairness. Her report’s conclusion that no case against Kavanaugh could be pursued legally — because the evidence is “even weaker” than the usual “he said, she said” — is designed to grease the skids for his confirmation.
But as the Washington Post reports, Mitchell’s legal peers are unimpressed, to say the least:
Though Senate Republicans said the memo was helpful, legal experts from both political parties and advocates for victims of sexual assault on Monday questioned how Mitchell could reach such a conclusion without a fuller investigation and without the ability to cross-examine witnesses such as Mark Judge, the only other person Ford says was in the room when the alleged incident occurred in the summer of 1982.
“As a former prosecutor myself, I’ve come to no conclusion other than the conclusion that there needs to be more facts to come to a conclusion,” said Douglas Wigdor, an employment lawyer who has represented plaintiffs in sexual assault and harassment cases. Wigdor, a Republican, called the memo “a joke” and “preposterous.”
The memo does not address Kavanaugh’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, including discrepancies between his statements and those of his college roommates who have disputed his characterization of drinking habits. When Kavanaugh testified last week, Mitchell had been questioning him for only about 10 minutes when she was sidelined by Republican senators.
Why do the Senate Republicans expect people to accept this fakery?