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.
She will question both Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, who says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were both in high school.
Here’s what we know about her.
Mitchell is an Arizona-based prosecutor with a focus on sex crimes. A registered Republican, Mitchell heads up the special victims division of about 40 to 50 people, with a concentration on family violence, physical and sexual abuse of children, and sex offenses, including sex assault cases, according to The Washington Post.
The Post spoke with Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, who said that Mitchell’s career is marked by 26 years working for the county attorney’s office. Mitchell has specialized in investigating years-old sex crimes and accusations and reexamining hundreds of unresolved cases that were hard to corroborate.
“Over the course of Rachel’s career, she has dealt with victims in this very circumstance of delayed disclosure and circumstances where allegations were difficult to corroborate,” Montgomery said. “She has had to make a decision as a prosecutor whether or not those cases can move forward.”
As for the decision to appoint Mitchell to the role, Grassley told the Post, “the majority members have followed the bipartisan recommendation to hire as staff counsel for the committee an experienced career sex-crimes prosecutor to question the witnesses at Thursday’s hearing.”
“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,” Grassley said, adding, “I’m very appreciative that Rachel Mitchell has stepped forward to serve in this important and serious role.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told the Post Tuesday “a female assistant” was hired “ask these questions in a respectful and professional way.”
“We want this hearing to be handled very professionally, not a political sideshow,” McConnell said.