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Arizona prosecutor Rachel Mitchell emerges as GOP choice to question Kavanaugh and accuser at hearing

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© SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images   FILE: The US Capitol Building is seen at dusk in Washington, DC, earlier this year.

By Sean Sullivan, Josh Dawsey, Rosalind Helderman, The Washington Post

Arizona prosecutor Rachel Mitchell has emerged as Senate Republicans’ choice to question Brett M. Kavanaugh and the woman who has accused the Supreme Court nominee of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers, according to two people familiar with the decision.

Mitchell, the sex crimes bureau chief for the Maricopa County Attorney’s office in Phoenix, is the leading candidate to query the two at Thursday’s highly anticipated hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee, according to the individuals.

They spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it on the record.

A registered Republican, Mitchell has worked for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office for 26 years.

Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were both in high school, will testify under oath on Thursday. So will Kavanaugh.

Republicans have opted to bring in a female representative to ask questions for the 11 GOP men on the committee.

Mitchell did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A representative for the Senate Judiciary Committee declined to comment Tuesday night.

In a 2011 interview, Mitchell said she was drawn to sex crimes work after she was paired with a senior lawyer prosecuting a youth choir director after joining the office as a law clerk awaiting the results of her bar exam. “It was different than anything that I would have ever imagined it being,” she said. “It struck me how innocent and vulnerable the victims of these cases really were.”

She is now a supervisor, where her duties include analyzing legislative changes and managing other attorneys. In an interview earlier this year on a local NPR radio station, she talked about the nuts-and-bolts of the office’s adoption of a new sex crimes protocol, the first in office history, intended to improve the investigation and prosecution of cases. She said the new manual would ensure prosecutors “have something to look at to say, okay, these are the best practices, so that we can do the best we can for victims.”

sean.sullivan@washpost.com

josh.dawsey@washpost.com

rosalind.helderman@washpost.com

Seung Min Kim contributed to this report.

© Jacquelyn Martin/AP   Brett Kavanaugh answers questions during a FOX News interview, Monday, Sept. 24, 2018, in Washington, about allegations of sexual misconduct against the Supreme Court nominee.

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Politics - U.S. Daily News: Arizona prosecutor Rachel Mitchell emerges as GOP choice to question Kavanaugh and accuser at hearing
Arizona prosecutor Rachel Mitchell emerges as GOP choice to question Kavanaugh and accuser at hearing
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