The sex crimes prosecutor, who questioned an alleged victim over the course of four hours, did not get the opportunity to do the same to the man accused of committing the act.
Republicans had Mitchell, an Arizona prosecutor, ask questions to Ford on their behalf. She speaks nationally and trains detectives and social workers how to ask sensitive questions of sexual assault victims and those who commit such crimes. She clearly wasn't manufacturing the story; she believes what she's saying is true.
"She'll prosecute hard but I know many cases that she has personally turned down because they just don't have the evidence that they need", Feldman said.
And if past is prologue, the investigative counsel drafted by the majority side of the Senate Judiciary Committee to question Christine Blasey Ford may become a recurring character long after the current Supreme Court debate comes to a close. He said it was the first time he heard about the possibility of her participating in the Kavanaugh hearing.
One person described the first photo as "one for the history books".
The five-minute questioning was "a little awkward", he added.
We watched as Republican-appointed prosecutor Rachel Mitchell asked specific questions directed at calling Ford's honesty or memory into question.
Ford and Kavanaugh's testimony will begin at 10 a.m. Thursday.
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Hence the introduction of Mitchell, whose role was announced by Chuck Grassley, the senator from Iowa and chair of the judiciary committee, on Friday.
"I will say this", Hayes said. "And she's not used to cross-examining people who are telling the truth". Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), seething with anger.
Career sex crimes prosecutor selected to lead the questioning for the Kavanaugh hearing is considered a 'leader in the field.' William La Jeunesse has more on Rachel Mitchell's background.
At one point, in response to Mitchell's comment about how this wasn't the best forum to explore her allegations, Ford agreed it would have been better if she could have testified at home without having to do this publicly in D.C. - except she could have done exactly that. Ford did not know the answer to that question.
Using an outside counsel to question witnesses as part of a confirmation hearing, even for the Supreme Court, seems most unusual, but senators have made similar moves in recent decades for some of the most sensitive allegations of the last half century.
The scene repeated itself throughout the day.
"I would defer to the chairman but I don't think we would do it on Thursday", Cornyn said.
Griffin also claimed that Mitchell avoided asking specific details about the assault, not to shield Ford from further trauma, but to hide something. "Her lawyers paid for the polygraph".