Rachel Mitchell, 50, is a public prosecutor in Arizona since 1993, currently serving as Deputy County Attorney and chief of the Special Victims Division in the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.
In 2003, Mitchell was recognized by Governor Janet Napolitano and Attorney General Terry Goddard as the Outstanding Arizona Sexual Assault Prosecutor of the Year. In 2006, Mitchell was named Prosecutor of the Year by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. The Maricopa County Commission on Trial Court Appointments has recommended her to be one of several candidates for Maricopa County Superior Court judge.
Mitchell was retained by the Senate Judiciary Committee to serve as the Nominations Investigative Counsel questioning Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh at the Committee hearing on September 27, 2018.
Mitchell submitted to Senate Republicans her legal analysis of Ford’s allegations in the form of a 10-page Memorandum, dated September 30, 2018, which contains a detailed Timeline.
Mitchell begins her Memorandum by stating what she calls the “bottom line”:
A “he said, she said” case is incredibly difficult to prove. But this case is even weaker than that. Dr. Ford identified other witnesses to the event, and those witnesses either refuted her allegations or failed to corroborate them. For the reasons discussed below, I do not think that a reasonable prosecutor would bring this case based on the evidence before the Committee. Nor do I believe that this evidence is sufficient to satisfy the preponderance-of-the-evidence standard.
Mitchell then provides the reasons why Ford’s allegations are not credible:
(1) Ford has given inconsistent accounts of when the alleged assault happened, including the mid-1980s, early 1980s, the 1980s, summer of 1982, when she was 15, and when she was in her “late teens” (age 15 is not “late teens”).
(2) Ford did not name her assailant in her marriage therapy in 2012, and in her individual therapy in 2013 — as shown in the therapists’ notes — but her husband, Russell Ford claims she identified Kavanaugh by name in the 2012 marriage therapy session.
(3) Ford was inconsistent in describing the alleged incident to her husband, from a “sexual assault” before the two were married, to “physical abuse” when they were first married.
(4) Although Ford remembers “small, distinct details” from the party unrelated to the alleged assault — that she had exactly beer and was taking no medication at the time — she cannot remember key details of the night in question which could help corroborate of her account:
- Who invited her to the party or how she heard about the party.
- How she got to the party.
- What house in which the alleged assault took place.
- Where specifically the house was located, other than that it was “near” the Columbia County Club.
- How she got home from the party after the alleged assault, or who drove her home. No one has come forth identifying him/herself as the driver.
(5) Ford has no corroborating witnesses. In fact, all three of the individuals she had named as having attended the party — Mark Judge, Patrick “PJ” Smyth, and Ford’s lifelong friend Leland Keyser (née Ingham) — submitted statements to the Senate Judiciary Committee denying any memory of the party whatsoever.
(6) Ford has given inconsistent accounts of the alleged assault:
- About whether she heard Kavanaugh and Judge talking to other partygoers while she was hiding in a bathroom after the alleged assualt:
- She said she’d heard the boys talking in her letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
- She said just the opposite in her testimony before the Senate committee — that she could not hear the boys talking, but “assumed” they were.
- About who was at the party:
- Ford’s therapy notes said 4 boys were in the bedroom where she was assaulted.
- Ford told the Washington Post there were 4 boys at the party, but only two (Kavanaugh and Judge) were in the bedroom.
- Ford told the Senate committee there were 4 boys and a girl (Leland Keyser) at the party, but she can’t remember the name of the fourth boy, nor has any one come forward claiming to be the fourth boy.
- Ford called Patrick Smyth a “bystander” in her polygraph statement and to the Washington Post, but denied Smyth was a “bystander” in her Senate testimony.
(7) Ford’s memory of more recent events is inconsistent and hazy, which “raises further questions about her memory”:
- About whether she showed the Washington Post a full or partial set of her therapy notes, or whether she showed the reporter only her summary of those notes. But Ford has refused to provide any of the therapy notes to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
- She could not remember whether she was audio- or video-recorded when she took the polygraph test. [Eowyn’s note: Ford is a professional psychologist, with three degrees in psychology, who has coached people in taking polygraph exams.]
- She could not remember when she took the polygraph test — whether it was on the same day or a day after her grandmother’s funeral.
(8) Questions concerning Ford’s claims to suffer psychological effects (anxiety, claustrophia, PTSD) from the alleged assault:
- She demanded delays in the date of the Senate hearing, claiming her symptoms prevented her from flying, but she said in her Senate testimony that she flies “frequently” for her hobbies and work — to the mid-Atlantic, Hawaii, French Polynesia, and Costa Rica. In fact, she flew to Washington, DC, for the hearing.
- She said she struggled academically in college because of the alleged assault, but not in her last two years in high school.
- In describing to the Washington Post the psychological effects of the alleged assault, Ford used the word “contributed” instead of “caused”, which suggests other factors might have accounted for her psychological symptoms. But in her Senate testimony, she called the impact of the alleged assault “striking”.
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