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October 1 2018

Rape Prosecutor Rachel Mitchell Finds Case Against Judge Kavanaugh “Weak”

by Patrice Lee Onwuka

In a new memo following last week’s Senate hearing, Arizona prosecutor Rachel Mitchell finds the case against Judge Brett Kavanaugh “weak.” She added that no “reasonable prosecutor” would bring a case against Judge Kavanaugh based on the evidence. This adds to the growing skepticism about the allegations against Judge Kavanaugh and the politics around them.

Mitchell, who has nearly 25 years of experience prosecuting sex-related cases in Arizona, questioned Dr. Christine Ford and Judge Kavanaugh during last week’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

As someone who pursues truth, upholds the law and fights on behalf of victims, Mitchell’s analysis carries heavy weight.

In a 9-point memo to Republican senators, Mitchell finds that the case against Kavanaugh is weak and wouldn’t even be pursued by a prosecutor. Her 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… I do not think that a reasonable prosecutor would bring this case based on the evidence before the Committee.”

Look at these 5 reasons Prosecutor Mitchell says Ford’s case is weak:

1. Dr. Ford’s account of when the incident occurred is inconsistent.

  • In a July 6 text to the Washington Post, she said it happened in the “mid 1980s.”
  • In her July 30 letter to Senator Feinstein, she said it happened in the “early 80s.”
  • Her August 7 statement to the polygrapher said that it happened one “high school summer in early 80’s,” but she crossed out the word “early” for reasons she did not explain.
  • A September 16 Washington Post article reported that Dr. Ford said it happened in the “summer of 1982.”
  • Similarly, the September 16 article reported that notes from an individual therapy session in 2013 show her describing the assault as occurring in her “late teens.” But she told the Post and the Committee that she was 15 when the assault allegedly occurred. She has not turned over her therapy records for the Committee to review.
  • While it is common for victims to be uncertain about dates, Dr. Ford failed to explain how she was suddenly able to narrow the timeframe to a particular season and particular year.

2. Dr. Ford has struggled to identify Judge Kavanaugh by name.

  • No name was given in her 2012 marriage therapy notes.
  • No name was given in her 2013 individual therapy notes.
  • Dr. Ford’s husband claims to recall that she identified Judge Kavanaugh by name in 2012. At that point, Judge Kavanaugh’s name was widely reported in the press as a potential Supreme Court nominee if Governor Romney won the presidential election.
  • In any event, it took Dr. Ford over thirty years to name her assailant. Delayed disclosure of abuse is common so this is not dispositive.

3. Dr. Ford has no memory of key details of the night in question.

  • She does not remember who invited her to the party or how she heard about it.
  • She does not remember how she got to the party.
  • She does not remember in what house the assault allegedly took place or where that house was located with any specificity.
  • Perhaps most importantly, she does not remember how she got from the party back to her house.
    ...

4. Dr. Ford’s account is not corroborated by anyone she says was there—including her lifelong friend.

  • Dr. Ford has named three people other than Judge Kavanaugh who attended the party— Mark Judge, Patrick “PJ” Smyth, and her lifelong friend Leland Keyser (née Ingham). Dr. Ford testified to the Committee that another boy attended the party, but that she could not remember his name. No others have come forward.
  • All three named eyewitnesses have submitted statements to the Committee denying any memory of the party whatsoever...

5. The activities of congressional Democrats and Dr. Ford’s attorneys likely affected Dr. Ford’s account.

You can read the full 9-point memo here.

We will probably hear opponents of Judge Kavanaugh try to discredit Prosecutor Mitchell, but there can be no discrediting her over two decades of defending victims and prosecuting wrongdoers of sexual crimes.

Unless corroborated or proven otherwise, Dr. Ford’s allegations remain just that: unfounded allegations.

It is unfair to suspend the principle of innocent until proven guilty or to just believe an allegation is true because a woman made it.

Furthermore, Judge Kavanaugh should not be used as the stand-in for every perpetrator of sexual crimes. This case must be judged based on the merits.

In the meantime, continued attacks, unsupported allegations, and obstructions against Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation expose that much of this is about political tactics and strategy to keep a qualified jurist off the bench than to seek the truth.



Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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