Rachel Mitchell, the prosecutor with decades of experience dealing with sex crimes who was tasked by GOP senators with questioning Christine Blasey Ford during her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, reportedly told lawmakers afterward there would not be enough evidence to charge or even obtain a search warrant on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Mitchell, chief of the Maricopa County attorney’s office Special Victims Division, spoke to a meeting of all 51 Republican senators following the hearing, two sources briefed on the session told Fox News on Thursday.
“Mitchell spelled it out and was clear with senators that she could not take (Ford’s allegation) anywhere near a courtroom,” one source said.
The prosecutor further told the senators that she would not even seek a search warrant.
New York Times congressional correspondent Nicholas Fandos also tweeted that he heard about Mitchell’s assessment from three Republicans.
“Rachel Mitchell, Republican’s outside questioner, privately told GOP senators tonight that based on the evidence she heard at the hearing, she would not have prosecuted or even been able to obtain a search warrant, according to three Republicans,” Fandos wrote in a tweet.
Rachel Mitchell, Republican’s outside questioner, privately told GOP senators tonight that based on the evidence she heard at the hearing, she would not have prosecuted or even been able to obtain a search warrant, according to three Republicans
— Nicholas Fandos (@npfandos) September 28, 2018
Mitchell’s boss, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, told Fox News host Tucker Carlson ahead of Thursday’s hearing that as a prosecutor her focus is on protecting and seeking justice for the victims of sex crimes, but not all allegations can be taken as “ground truth.”
“What Rachel will do is she will go in and start by listening,” Montgomery said. “She certainly has a victim-centered focus as a prosecutor, but that doesn’t mean you can accept as ground truth everything that’s said.”
Bill Montgomery, Rachel Mitchell's boss on Kavanaugh, Ford hearing: "She certainly has a victim-centered focus as a prosecutor, but that doesn't mean you can't accept there's ground truth to everything that's said." #Tucker https://t.co/eg3LkfMUXC pic.twitter.com/iPSFZLsq8v
— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 27, 2018
Montgomery, who is a Republican, described Mitchell as “well-grounded: professional, fair and objective.”
She has also been praised by Democrat officials.
“In 2003, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano and state Attorney General Terry Goddard, both Democrats, participated in an event recognizing Mitchell as the Outstanding Arizona Sexual Assault Prosecutor of the Year,” The Daily Signal reported.
Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, who had wanted to hear from Ford before making a decision, announced Friday morning he would be voting to confirm, CNBC reported.
“I wish that I could express the confidence that some of my colleagues have conveyed about what either did or did not happen in the early 1980s, but I left the hearing yesterday with as much doubt as certainty,” he said in a statement.
He added that the presumption of innocence “is what binds us to the rule of law”
Thus far, 48 Republican senators have publicly committed to voting for Kavanaugh to be confirmed.
The holdouts include Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine and Mike Enzi of Wyoming.
Democrat senators who are considered possible “yes” votes for Kavanaugh include Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota. They both voted to confirm Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court last year and are from states President Donald Trump won handily in 2016.
A vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination by the full Senate is expected next week.
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