Close
Date TimeSeptember 27, 2018
VoiceIn a highly unusual move, the Arizona sex crimes prosecutor will be interviewing Brett Kavanaugh’s accusers on behalf of the Republican party
Rachel Mitchell: who is the prosecutor grilling Christine Blasey Ford?
When Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused the supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, testifies before the Senate judiciary committee on Thursday, she won’t be interviewed by Republican senators.
Instead, Rachel Mitchell, a female prosecutor from Arizona whose “life mission” has been to investigate sex crimes, is interviewing Ford on behalf of the Republican party.
The bringing in of Mitchell is unusual. Democratic senators on the committee plan to quiz Ford and Kavanaugh – who will also testify on Thursday – themselves.
But each of the 11 Republicans on the committee is male, and there was said to be an awareness that having 11 men grill a woman who says she was a victim of sexual assault might not be a good idea.
Hence the introduction of Mitchell, whose role was announced by Chuck Grassley, the senator from Iowa and chair of the judiciary committee, on Friday. Mitchell has “been recognized in the legal community for her experience and objectivity”, Grassley said – recognition that will now come under intense scrutiny when she faces Ford.
Few could argue with Grassley’s claim that Mitchell, a registered Republican, boasts a wealth of experience. She studied law at Arizona State University, passing the bar in 1992, and since 1993 has worked as a prosecutor. Mitchell currently serves as Maricopa county’s deputy county attorney and chief of the special victims division, which handles sex crimes and family violence.
Ford, a California-based university professor, alleges that in the early 1980s, Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed at a house party, groped her and attempted to remove her clothes, while putting his hand over her mouth to stifle her screams.
Mitchell should be well placed to understand both the details of Ford’s claim and the length of time it has taken her to come forward.
In an interview with Frontline magazine in 2011, Mitchell was asked about some of the “common misconceptions” about sexual offenses against children.
“First, I would say the largest misconception is that ‘stranger danger’ is the rule rather than the fairly rare exception. About 90–95% of victims know the person who is offending against them,” Mitchell said.
“Second, a very common misconception relates to when and how children tell. People think that children would tell right away and that they would tell everything that happened to them. In reality children often keep this secret for years, sometimes into their adulthood, sometimes forever […]
“Third, there is a perception that this happens in secret, but the reality is that it frequently happens with others present in the same house and often in the same room.”
Mitchell spent 12 years running the Maricopa county division responsible for prosecuting sex crimes. Her most prominent case – to date – came in 2005, when she prosecuted the Rev Paul LeBrun, a former Catholic priest accused of molesting six boys in Arizona during the 1980s and 1990s. LeBrun was found guilty and sentenced to 111 years in prison.
Looking back on her career in 2011, Mitchell told Frontline she had been drawn to prosecuting sex crimes after working as a law clerk for a senior attorney on a case involving a youth choir director having committed an offense.
“It intrigued me,” Mitchell said. “It struck me how innocent and vulnerable the victims of these cases really were. When I became an attorney with the office, I prosecuted other kinds of cases, but I was drawn back to this area.”
Former colleagues have lined up to praise Mitchell in the past two days, even as Democrats have criticized Republican members of the judiciary committee for appointing an outside individual to conduct the questioning. Patrick Leahy, a Democratic member of the committee, said the appointment “is going against everything I’ve seen for 44 years”, while Blumenthal wondered why Republicans were “hiding from their roles as members of the judiciary committee”.
But Cindi Nannetti, Mitchell’s former supervisor, told the Arizona Republic that Mitchell would not pander to the Republicans who appointed her.
“Her bottom line is justice,” Nannetti said. “She’s super smart. I just don’t think she’ll be bullied by anyone. She just doesn’t look at anything politically.”

Related Stories
U.S. Supreme Court blocks Trumps census citizenship question, for nowU.S. Supreme Court blocks Trump's census citizenship question, for now
2020 Census Won’t Have Citizenship Question as Trump Administration Drops Effort2020 Census Won’t Have Citizenship Question as Trump Administration Drops Effort
Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens dies at 99Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens dies at 99
News Trends
Hailey Baldwin Has Legs For Days In Tiny Daisy Dukes On Lunch Date With Justin BieberHailey Baldwin Has Legs For Days In Tiny Daisy Dukes On Lunch Date With Justin Bieber
A$AP Rocky Remains Jailed in Sweden After Prosecutors Persuade Judge to Hold HimA$AP Rocky Remains Jailed in Sweden After Prosecutors Persuade Judge to Hold Him
Watchmen Trailer: Who Watches the Watchmen (TV Series)?'Watchmen' Trailer: Who Watches the Watchmen (TV Series)?
British Airways Suspends Flights To Egypt As Security PrecautionBritish Airways Suspends Flights To Egypt As Security 'Precaution'
Linkin Park lead tributes to late singer Chester BenningtonLinkin Park lead tributes to late singer Chester Bennington
Kyle Korver Agrees To One-Year Deal With BucksKyle Korver Agrees To One-Year Deal With Bucks
AOC grills acting DHS secretary about CBP Facebook groupAOC grills acting DHS secretary about CBP Facebook group
Ilhan Omar, US congresswoman in eye of political stormIlhan Omar, US congresswoman in eye of political storm
Michelle Obama says diversity ‘truly makes’ US great in rebuke of Trumps racist tweetsMichelle Obama says diversity ‘truly makes’ US great in rebuke of Trump's racist tweets
Oliver Stone Asks Vladimir Putin to Be His Daughter’s GodfatherOliver Stone Asks Vladimir Putin to Be His Daughter’s Godfather
Leaders
Donald-TrumpDonald Trump
45th President of the United States of America
Mike-PenceMike Pence
Vice President of the United States
Theresa-MayTheresa May
British Prime Minister
Angela-MerkelAngela Merkel
Chancellor of Germany
Emmanuel-MacronEmmanuel Macron
President of France
Justin-TrudeauJustin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
Nancy-PelosiNancy Pelosi
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
Barack-ObamaBarack Obama
44th U.S. President
Vladimir-PutinVladimir Putin
Russian President
Shinzo-AbeShinzō Abe
Prime Minister of Japan
Related Stories
U.S. Supreme Court blocks Trumps census citizenship question, for nowU.S. Supreme Court blocks Trump's census citizenship question, for now
2020 Census Won’t Have Citizenship Question as Trump Administration Drops Effort2020 Census Won’t Have Citizenship Question as Trump Administration Drops Effort
Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens dies at 99Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens dies at 99
News Trends
Hailey Baldwin Has Legs For Days In Tiny Daisy Dukes On Lunch Date With Justin BieberHailey Baldwin Has Legs For Days In Tiny Daisy Dukes On Lunch Date With Justin Bieber
A$AP Rocky Remains Jailed in Sweden After Prosecutors Persuade Judge to Hold HimA$AP Rocky Remains Jailed in Sweden After Prosecutors Persuade Judge to Hold Him
Watchmen Trailer: Who Watches the Watchmen (TV Series)?'Watchmen' Trailer: Who Watches the Watchmen (TV Series)?
British Airways Suspends Flights To Egypt As Security PrecautionBritish Airways Suspends Flights To Egypt As Security 'Precaution'
Linkin Park lead tributes to late singer Chester BenningtonLinkin Park lead tributes to late singer Chester Bennington
Kyle Korver Agrees To One-Year Deal With BucksKyle Korver Agrees To One-Year Deal With Bucks
AOC grills acting DHS secretary about CBP Facebook groupAOC grills acting DHS secretary about CBP Facebook group
Ilhan Omar, US congresswoman in eye of political stormIlhan Omar, US congresswoman in eye of political storm
Michelle Obama says diversity ‘truly makes’ US great in rebuke of Trumps racist tweetsMichelle Obama says diversity ‘truly makes’ US great in rebuke of Trump's racist tweets
Oliver Stone Asks Vladimir Putin to Be His Daughter’s GodfatherOliver Stone Asks Vladimir Putin to Be His Daughter’s Godfather
Leaders
Donald-TrumpDonald Trump
45th President of the United States of America
Mike-PenceMike Pence
Vice President of the United States
Theresa-MayTheresa May
British Prime Minister
Angela-MerkelAngela Merkel
Chancellor of Germany
Emmanuel-MacronEmmanuel Macron
President of France
Justin-TrudeauJustin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
Nancy-PelosiNancy Pelosi
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
Barack-ObamaBarack Obama
44th U.S. President
Vladimir-PutinVladimir Putin
Russian President
Shinzo-AbeShinzō Abe
Prime Minister of Japan
Brett Kavanaugh Accuser Christine Blasey Ford Testifies At Historic Senate Hearing
'Oumuamua Isn't from Our Solar System. Now We May Know Which Star It Came From
How Cardi B Became the Most Exciting Fashion Week Star
Big Brother 20 season finale recap: A winner is crowned and surprises are abound
Review: ABC's 'A Million Little Things' is the pinnacle of feel-bad feel-good TV
Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes boss makes Russian Grand Prix vow over title battle
Dull 'Dark Phoenix' Trailer Takes A Huge Risk With The 'X-Men' Series
Jennifer Lopez Flexes Her Muscles and Shows 'Superwoman' Strength in New Photo
Russian law student fed up with 'manspreading' allegedly dumps bleach on passengers in viral video
Kelly Bryant, Clemson QB, will transfer after losing starting job
Julie Swetnick Is Third Woman to Accuse Brett Kavanaugh of Sexual Misconduct
Meghan closes a car door and some people can't handle it
Dunkin Donuts is changing its name
José Mourinho and Paul Pogba filmed in apparent training ground clash
Silent Opportunity Mars Rover Spotted from Space
BTS Shows Jimmy Fallon Their Best Video Game Moves In Epic Fortnite Dance Challenge
'This Is Us' recap: Season 3 premiere is half frustration, half great
Royal Mail: Stop putting crisp packets in post boxes
Labour MP Laura Smith Calls For First General Strike Since 1926 To Bring Down The Government
The ‘Breaking Bad’ scene that still makes Bryan Cranston tear up
Donald Trump Just Got Laughed At By The Entire United Nations
Emily Thornberry Stays Silent Over Online Attacks 'To Avoid Putting Young Women Off Politics'
Bill Cosby sentenced to three to 10 years in prison for sexual assault
Elon Musk Says a Mars Base Could Happen by 2028
Listen to Lady Gaga's A Star Is Born Ballad 'Is That Alright?'
New Zealand's 'first baby' makes UN history at General Assembly
'The Apprentice' 2018 Contestants Revealed: Meet The Candidates Vying For Lord Sugar's Investment
Michael Kors buys Versace in $2.1bn deal
It's National Voter Registration Day: How to make your voice heard
Prince Harry Doting On Meghan Markle More Than Ever — The Sweet Ways He Makes Her Feel Spoiled
Fortnite season 6 skins release, Halloween 2018 update and map leaks
Patrick Mahomes lights up Steelers as Chiefs win shootout
Luka Modric and Marta win Fifa player of the year awards in London
This Is the Secret Behind Meghan Markle's Super Straight Hair Today
Amber Guyger, Dallas Officer Who Killed Botham Jean in His Home, Is Fired
Rod Rosenstein, deputy attorney general, to meet Trump amid resignation reports
Selena Gomez Reveals You 'Can Never Forget Someone' As Justin Bieber & Hailey Baldwin Plan Wedding
Bill Cosby sentencing hearing caps fall from grace for 'America's Dad'
‘Transformers’ spin-off ‘Bumblebee’ teaser features Optimus Prime (VIDEO)
Metallica announce WorldWired tour in UK and Europe: How to get tickets
John McDonnell Says Second Referendum Would Not Include Option To Remain In The EU
The Bodyguard divides opinion with 'racist' twist
British woman jailed in Egypt over illegal painkillers loses appeal
Tiger Woods holds back tears before claiming Tour Championship
Labour back second Brexit vote if there's no general election
Patriots lack urgency once again as questions mount
‘Insecure’ shows how hard it is for a black girl to find love
Jennifer Lopez Parties With Selena Gomez and Other Top Female Stars Backstage at Her Show
49ers Breida, Sherman leave with leg injuries amid Chiefs onslaught
Bills rookie QB Josh Allen hurdles Vikings as part of shocking start
Lacazette strikes as controversial goal puts gloss on Arsenal win over Everton
Al Pacino’s new girlfriend is half his age
Jennifer Garner Driving a Tractor Is the Best Way to Ring in the First Day of Fall
Sarah Hyland Reveals the 'Sentimental' Gift Wells Adams Got Her for Their 1-Year Anniversary
5 Highlights From Queen Elizabeth II Documentary That Features Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
OPEC, Russia rebuff Trump's call for immediate boost to oil output
Do the Democrats Have a Post-Kavanaugh, Post-Midterm Game Plan?
‘Strictly Come Dancing’ First Show Sees Faye Tozer And Ashley Roberts Top The Leaderboard, But Susannah Constantine Is Labelled A ‘Car Crash’
Peter: Why I'm rooting for Tiger Woods to win Tour Championship
Death Stranding's TGS Trailer Has A Cool New Character Voiced By Troy Baker
Elon Musk just gave the most revealing look yet at the rocket ship SpaceX is building to fly to the moon and Mars
Ariana Grande Promises 'Everything Will Be Okay' as She Takes 'Much Needed Time to Heal'
Selena Gomez Took Our Favorite Brunch Outfit and Gave It an '80s Twist
Nicki Minaj and Cardi B Are Both in Milan for Fashion Week Following NYC Fight
Chas and Dave singer Chas Hodges dies aged 74
No. 7 Stanford rallies for 38-31 OT win over No. 20 Oregon
Mike Ashley to close three House of Fraser stores
Labour To Train Members In Special Campaign Skills As Jeremy Corbyn Pushes For Snap Election
Justin Theroux Breaks Silence on Jennifer Aniston Split: 'It Was Heartbreaking' Yet 'Gentle'
Maniac review – Jonah Hill and Emma Stone hit career highs in NYC dystopia
Believers, skeptics welcome to visit Nebraska’s Bigfoot Museum
Gunmen kill at least 25 in attack on annual military parade in Iran
Goodbye, summer: Fall equinox coming Saturday, marking the first day of autumn
Sir Alex Ferguson makes Old Trafford return
Telltale Games Begins 'Majority Studio Closure'
Jeremy Hunt: Burmese generals must face justice over Rohingya
How USC and Washington State match up
Tiffany Haddish Would Rather Snuggle With a Blanket Than a Man
Addison Russell's ex-wife accuses Cubs shortstop of physical mistreatment in blog post
Report: Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein discussed using 25th Amendment to remove Trump
'Joker' Director Reveals First Look at Joaquin Phoenix in Makeup
NASA's New Planet-Hunting Telescope Spots Its Second Possible World Already
Prince Harry Pulled a Hilariously Mischievous Move at His Wife's Cookbook Party
Rap mogul Suge Knight faces 28 years in prison after admitting manslaughter
Theresa May demands respect from EU in Brexit negotiations
Watch Google's beautiful tribute to Mister Rogers
Amazing footage shows a net being shot through outer space to clean up dangerous space debris
Meghan Markle's Mom Doria Ragland in Attendance as She Makes First Speech as Duchess of Sussex
Michael Cohen provided 'critical information' to Robert Mueller, his attorney says
Wolf Alice are worthy winners – but the Mercury prize must think bigger
The House With a Clock in Its Walls is not exactly time well spent
Tiger Woods fires a five-under 65 to share East Lake lead with Rickie Fowler
Browns win their first game since 2016 as Mayfield shines on debut
Jane Fonda ‘hates’ that she felt she had to get plastic surgery
Maryland shooting suspect in critical condition
‘Veronica Mars’ revival ordered to series at Hulu
Kanye West slams Nick Cannon, Drake and Tyson Beckford for talking about Kim
Macron urges EU leaders to stand firm against Theresa May
Sophia Loren in pictures: Look at beautiful Sophia Loren who turns 84 today
Police: Orlando-Melbourne International Airport back open on lockdown
Chris Evans' Wife Natasha Shishmanian Has Given Birth To Twins
James Bond 25: True Detective's Cary Fukunaga named as director
SpaceX's New BFR Spaceship Really Does Look Like Tintin's Moon Rocket
Khloé Kardashian Is Moving Back to Cleveland for Tristan Thompson's NBA Season: 'It's Hard'
'America's Got Talent': Season 13 champ crowned during two-hour finale
Alibaba's Jack Ma says US-China trade war ends 1 million US jobs promise: Xinhua
UFC Fighter Jon Jones Gets 15-Month Suspension, But Could Return Late October
Hailey Baldwin Calls Engagement to Justin Bieber the Most 'OMG Moment of My Life'
Tilray stock highs make it most valuable pot company
Maroon 5 to Perform at Super Bowl Halftime
Jimmy Butler Trade Rumors: T-Wolves Star Requests Deal, Gives Shortlist of Teams
Diogo Dalot profile: Who is Man Utd teenager in line for debut against Young Boys?
Storm Ali: woman dies in Ireland after caravan blown off cliff
Palestinian Attempts Jerusalem Stabbing on Yom Kippur
Eagles sign Jordan Matthews, place Mike Wallace on injured reserve
Kim Jong-un AGREES to dismantle nuclear complex and key missile facilities
Kanye West says he’s moving to Chicago
Justin Bieber Serenades Hailey Baldwin in the Streets of London
Sesame Street disputes writer's claim that Bert and Ernie are gay
Sony's PlayStation Classic will fit in your hand and cost you $100
Denis Norden, TV presenter and comedy writer, dies aged 96
Julie Chen confirms exit from ‘The Talk’ after Les Moonves scandal
Why Penélope Cruz Would 'Love' to Continue Working With Ryan Murphy
Celia Barquin Arozamena Found Murdered On Iowa Golf Course
Trump, Poland's president meet at White House — live updates
Matias Vecino breaks Spurs hearts with injury-time winner for Inter
Matthew Rhys: Keri Russell would have punched me if I proposed at Emmys
Billy Joe Saunders charged with misconduct for ‘sickening’ video
Stormy Daniels: 'little girl from Baton Rouge' posing big problem for Trump
UK weather: Storm Ali brings danger to life warning with 80mph winds
Watch Brie Larson blast off as Marvel's newest hero in the first 'Captain Marvel' trailer
Emmy Winner Glenn Weiss Proposes Marriage Live Onstage
Elon Musk's SpaceX to send Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa on journey around the moon
New Kingdom Hearts 3 Trailer, Cover Art Revealed
Primetime Emmys 2018: British Stars Including Claire Foy, Charlie Brooker And Thandie Newton Win Big
Matthew Rhys reflects on the 'terrifying' experience of giving an Emmy acceptance speech
Emmys 2018: Game of Thrones makes triumphant return on TV's biggest night
Mel B wants Katy Perry to join Spice Girls on tour
Nicki Minaj to release surprise ‘Bad Guy’ collection with Diesel
Casey Affleck: Ben is sobering up for Jennifer Garner and the kids
Watch Elon Musk announce SpaceX's first Moon passenger today at 6PM PT
We've Been Pronouncing Ariana Grande and Chrissy Teigen's Names Wrong This Whole Time
Mark Burnett, Tom Arnold brawl at pre-Emmys party days before Arnold's anti-Trump show debuts
iOS 12 review: the fixes are in
'Mary Poppins Returns' dazzles with new trailer
Meghan Markle's Half-Sister Samantha Markle Compares Prince Harry to a Hamster in Birthday Tweet
Soon-Yi Previn Breaks Silence on Woody Allen Sexual Assault Claims, Alleges Years of Abuse by Mia Farrow
Time Magazine Sold to Salesforce Founder Marc Benioff for $190 Million
Dallas Cowboys find offensive identity in crucial win over New York Giants
Macron under fire after telling young jobseeker to 'find work by crossing the road'
Typhoon Mangkhut lashes Hong Kong after killing 49 in the Philippines
Cardi B already joking about fight with Nicki Minaj
Carrie Underwood Reveals She Had 3 Past Miscarriages Before Current Pregnancy
Kanye West Looking to Launch New Film Production Company Called Half Beast
Katie Hopkins 'On Brink Of Bankruptcy' Following Libel Loss
Hamilton storms to pole in Singapore GP
‘UFO’ spotted onboard US Navy aircraft carrier, EXTRAORDINARY YouTube footage shows
Tiffany Haddish Says She Is Waiting for That Emmys Check
Kris Jenner Reveals if She'll Ever Get Married Again
Browns to release former Pro Bowl WR Josh Gordon
Canelo Álvarez edges Gennady Golovkin by majority decision in classic fight
Anna Kendrick Tells Stephen Colbert About the Time She Called Obama an 'A—hole' to His Face — Watch
'The X-Files' Actor Peter Donat Dies at 90
Barack Obama to speak at annual RFK gala
Matthew McConaughey, Camila Alves hit the dance floor at Cinema Society bash
The Year Prince Harry Shook the Royal Family--and What's Next for Him and Meghan Markle
Matthew Perry Is 'Going Home Finally' After Spending 3 Months in the Hospital: Source
Lukaku and Smalling strike as Manchester United end Watford’s streak
Syracuse QB Eric Dungey hurt in 1st half vs. FSU
Florida State to Honor Burt Reynolds with Helmet Decals
Ariana Grande Breaks Silence On Ex-Boyfriend Mac Miller's Death To Pay Emotional Tribute
Five dead as Florence lashes Carolinas with howling winds and driving rain
NASA launches laser device into space to measure Earth's polar ice
Liverpool's Klopp plays down Kane fatigue concerns ahead of Spurs clash
Hurricane Florence latest: Donald Trump set to visit areas RAVAGED by STORM
A Simple Favor lets Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively put their stamp on camp
Moeen Ali: I was called 'Osama' by Australia player during 2015 Ashes
US, Russia Respond to Space Station Leak Rumors
Carrie Underwood Proudly Shows Off Baby Bump Ahead Of Album Release — Sweet Pic
Whirlwind Wedding! Justin Bieber Marries Hailey Baldwin Two Months After Proposal: Sources
Former JLS singer Oritsé Williams charged with rape of fan
Secret letter accuses Brett Kavanaugh of attempting to ‘force himself’ on woman: Ronan Farrow report
Trump's Former Campaign Chairman, Paul Manafort, To Co-operate With Mueller Probe
Big Brother, where art thou? Channel 5 drops reality TV show
More than 185000 without power as Hurricane Florence lashes North Carolina coast
The Predator is back for action, as ugly as ever
Cynthia Nixon confident despite polls favoring Cuomo in New York primary
Nintendo Direct: Katamari Damacy Remaster Coming To Nintendo Switch In 2018
Boston explosions: homes burn after multiple gas blasts – video
Volkswagen to stop making its classic Beetle next year
SpaceX announces plan to send private passenger around the Moon
Julie Chen returns to ‘Big Brother,’ signs off using Moonves name
Cincinnati Bengals topple Baltimore Ravens and put league on notice with 2-0 start
Elon Musk Reveals Release Date and Price for Boring Company's Eco Bricks
Jeff Bezos Unveils Multibillion-Dollar Plans For Charitable Giving
David Wright Is Getting Better. But Will the Mets Allow His Return?
'Bachelor in Paradise' Star Jordan Kimball Admits He 'Got Played' By Jenna Cooper
Salisbury novichok suspects say they were only visiting cathedral
Roald Dahl Day: Who Is Your Favourite Character From The Memorable Books?
Donald Trump Rejects Hurricane Maria Death Toll, Claiming '3,000 People Did Not Die' In Puerto Rico
Close