Rachel Mitchell Is The Only Winner Today
Rachel Mitchell Is The Only Winner Today
The hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee today has highlighted just how firmly entrenched everyone is in their respective opinion of Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. The only winner today is the prosecutor, Rachel Mitchell.
While the Democrats decided to grandstand with every chance they got, patting Dr. Ford on the back and sniping at Judge Kavanaugh, the only sane questions came from Rachel Mitchell, who proved that she is a consummate professional with the first words out of her mouth. She immediately made the attempt to set Dr. Ford at ease at the outset, and her lines of questioning proved that she is capable and skillful at her job.
I basically want Rachel Mitchell to not only ask all questions today for both Dems and Republicans in this hearing, but all future hearings of all Senate Committees. House, too. Just night and day in terms of quality.
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) September 27, 2018
The problem is, that five-minute intervals of questioning, followed by five minutes of grandstanding, truly stinks as a format, and kept interrupting Mitchell’s lines of questioning.
I don’t see how any lawyer alive could effectively cross-examine a witness when interrupted every five minutes by tributes to the valor and virtue of the witness. I supported bringing in competent outside counsel. This format drains that decision of any worth.
— David French (@DavidAFrench) September 27, 2018
And it stinks because Rachel Mitchell is clearly good at what she does, which was why she was handpicked by the GOP to handle the questioning.
Of particular note that Mitchell uncovered:
1) Dr. Ford NEVER authorized the release of her letter, sent via Congresswoman Eshoo, to Senator Feinstein. This is notable because that narrows down the suspects on who leaked it to the press.
Mitchell nailing down important point: Feinstein, Eschoo or her attorney released & leaked her letter against her consent.
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) September 27, 2018
2) During the last questions of the day, Mitchell asked about Ford’s friend Leland Keyser, who was allegedly at this party and provided a sworn statement that she does not know Brett Kavanaugh. Ford’s response to that was to… throw her alleged “best friend” under the freaking bus??!?!?
Question: Why did everyone you named as witness come out against you? Including your best friend who says she never met Kavanaugh & the party did not happen?
Dr. Ford (literally): "Leland has significant health challenges, and I am happy that she is focusing on herself"
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) September 27, 2018
Honestly, Dr. Ford had been doing well for herself up to that point. But that comment, essentially accusing her friend of lying to Congress just to avoid testifying (remember, Keyser sent a sworn statement, so Ford is saying that Keyser perjured herself) – which is in DIRECT contrast to what Debra Katz, Ford’s lawyer, said in public when Keyser gave her statement.
Dr Ford’s attorney to @NBCNews: “It’s not surprising that Ms Keyser has no recollection of the evening as they did not discuss it. It’s also unremarkable that Ms. Keyser does not remember attending a specific gathering 30 years ago at which nothing of consequence happened to her” pic.twitter.com/wD0EciQJpc
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) September 23, 2018
Dr. Ford’s testimony is now over, and the last bit we got before she finished was this “Mean Girls” moment. Ouch.
While Ford came across as emotional and sincere, her wide gaps in memory – even regarding recent events, like her polygraph test and who had seen her therapy notes – are definitely problematic. Her parting shot at Keyser looked petty. While she definitely was traumatized, she acted clueless in certain moments – not exactly how someone with multiple college degrees would be expected to respond, even in a moment of great stress.
Rachel Mitchell, on the other hand, was polished and professional, and while the format clearly irritated her every time she was interrupted, she did an excellent job at what she was brought in to do. She allowed Ford the space to be scared, was absolutely cordial to her, and treated the entire session with absolute seriousness. Rachel Mitchell can hold her head high – she represented the best in her profession.
Featured image: Rachel Mitchell, at the Senate Judiciary Hearing, September 27, 2018 (image via screenshot)