Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is "exceptionally credible," but Arizona sex crimes prosecutor Rachel Mitchell has not had the ability to impair that because of a "bizarre rule" that allows her to cross-examine the witness for just five minutes at a time, Judge Andrew Napolitano said as the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearing unfolded Thursday.
"She really needs to ask Sen. (Chuck) Grassley to call an audible and it to give her four or five sections at once, so that she can not only develop the rapport that she needs, but to ask about questions and follow-up question, which is nearly impossible," Napolitano, the senior judicial analyst for Fox News, said during a break in the hearing.
Rather than having the cross-examination proceed and questions be asked at the end of it, Mitchell must stop every five minutes to allow a senator on the committee to ask questions or make comments about the testimony.
Fox News' Chris Wallace said he doesn't understand why Mitchell is there "to just be a fact finder."
"She is there representing the 11 Republican senators," said Wallace. "They have a view of this case, and she is supposed to help them make their case."
Ford's "extremely emotional" testimony also was "extremely credible," Wallace said, and the manner in which Mitchell is asking questions is creating a "disaster for the Republicans," as Democratic senators have been able to make comments favoring the witness.
"Nobody could have listened to her deliver those words and a talk about the assault and the impact it had on her life and not have your heart go out to her," he said. "She obviously was traumatized by an event."
But Mitchell is treating the hearing "like a deposition, like a court hearing," complained Wallace. "One round of 11 senators, that is 55 minutes, she is basically almost a third done, and she hasn't gotten anything from this woman."
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