AP NEWS

The Latest: Lawyer surprised by pick of Kavanaugh questioner

September 26, 2018

In this Oct. 27, 2004 photo Rachel Mitchell makes an opening statement in the trial of Karl LeClaire at court in Mesa, Ariz. Senate Republicans are bringing Mitchell to handle questioning about allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh at Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. (Jack Kurtz/The Arizona Republic via AP)

PHOENIX (AP) — The Latest on an Arizona prosecutor tapped to question Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh over sexual assault allegations (all times local):

1 p.m.

A Phoenix area attorney who specializes in sex abuse cases and once worked for prosecutor Rachel Mitchell says he is surprised she was picked to pose questions in the sexual assault investigation of Supreme Court nominee Brent Kavanaugh.

Lawyer Matt Long said Wednesday he initially believed Mitchell was a good choice given her understanding of victim behavior. He says Mitchell is not an advocate for either side.

But Long says he later worried about whether Mitchell will be able to do her job in such a highly political environment, despite her adherence to “evidence-based approaches.”

Senate Republicans are bringing in Mitchell, also a Republican, to question both Kavanaugh and his first accuser at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday.

___

12:40 p.m.

An official at a nonprofit working to end sexual and domestic violence describes an Arizona prosecutor set to question Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh about sexual assault allegations as straightforward.

Tasha Menaker of the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual Violence said Wednesday that she has worked with Rachel Mitchell for three years to develop sexual assault reporting guidelines for medical and legal specialists in Arizona’s most populous county.

Menaker says she has never watched Mitchell prosecute a case, but the organization has “nothing negative to say” about her as a person or professional.

Senate Republicans are bringing in Mitchell, also a Republican, to question both Kavanaugh and his first accuser at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday.

___

3 a.m.

Senate Republicans say they are bringing in Arizona prosecutor Rachel Mitchell to handle questioning about allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, describing her as tough, experienced and, above all, objective.

Mitchell is a Republican expected to question both Kavanaugh and his accuser at Thursday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

Mitchell works in the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office in Phoenix as the chief of the Special Victims Division. She supervises attorneys who handle cases involving child molestation, sexual assault and computer crimes against children in Arizona’s most populous county.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, Mitchell’s boss, praises her experience an “objective prosecutor” with a “caring heart” for victims. He says he was contacted by staff members of the Judiciary Committee over the weekend about Mitchell’s qualifications.

AP RADIO
Update hourly