This photo from the Kavanaugh hearing is 'one for the history books'

This photo from the Kavanaugh hearing is 'one for the history books'

The hearing format was designed by Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee to avoid having to question Ford outright, especially given the party's legacy of presiding over the allegations against then-Justice nominee Clarence Thomas brought by Anita Hill.

Mitchell "has been recognized in the legal community for her experience and objectivity", committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, said in a statement Tuesday.

We watched as Republican-appointed prosecutor Rachel Mitchell asked specific questions directed at calling Ford's honesty or memory into question.

"The goal is to de-politicize the process and get to the truth, instead of grandstanding and giving senators an opportunity to launch their presidential campaigns", he said in a statement.

"The best way to do it is to have a trained interviewer talk to you one-on-one in a private setting, and to let you do the talking", she said.

When Mitchell was appointed head of Maricopa County's Special Victims Division, that put her in charge of both the sex crimes bureau and the family violence bureau. His response: She's "attractive".

While Griffin has strong opinions on Mitchell, others have commended her questioning, especially noting that Mitchell acknowledged Ford's fears about the hearing and attempted to make the questioning as pain-free as possible.

In a 2012 interview with FrontLine magazine, which is associated with the church group Foundations Baptist Fellowship International, Mitchell said she did not initially plan to go into prosecuting sex crimes but was inspired after working with an attorney who prosecuted a youth choir director. I'm very appreciative that Rachel Mitchell has stepped forward to serve in this important and serious role. Her story came out clear.

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Democrats and Kavanaugh opponents were criticizing Mitchell for approaching Ford as a prosecutor would when Ford is the accuser, and they didn't like some of her lines of questioning.

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.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, Mitchell's boss, has praised Mitchell as an "objective" prosecutor with a "caring heart" for victims.

Mitchell has helped train psychologists, medical professionals, forensic interviewers and detectives in sex-crimes issues. LeBrun's prosecution resulted from an investigation into child sexual abuse allegations against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, and Mitchell was assigned the LeBrun case in 2005.

But Westerhausen, a Democrat, said Mitchell's political affiliation would have no influence on Thursday's hearing.

Christine Blasey Ford struggled through an emotional testimony. (And toward the end of Ford's testimony, Mitchell spoke openly with Ford about how the hearing and its series of five-minute increments are not the ideal situation for discussing her allegations.) Complainants are asked to repeat themselves, even when it's hard, for the sake of veracity.

But Cindi Nannetti, Mitchell's former supervisor, told the Arizona Republic that Mitchell would not pander to the Republicans who appointed her.

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