The Maricopa County sex crimes division has had a difficult time conducting prosecutions in the Arizona county, with a serious backlog of sex crimes under Sheriff Joe Arpaio. That prosecutor in question, Rachel Mitchell, has now been chosen to question Dr. Christine Blasey Ford during the Judiciary Committee hearing.
According to The Washington Post, two people familiar with the decision said that she would be the likely choice to handle the hearing, because no Republican woman has ever served on the Judiciary committee. There are still no GOP women on the committee and they are fearful of the optics of several old, white, men hammering a sexual assault survivor.
Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA) confirmed the news late Tuesday. The prosecutor will take a leave of absence from Maricopa County for a few days to go onto the Senate payroll for this specific reason.
MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell said that the move is unprecidented.