Rachel Mitchell, an attorney in the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office in Arizona, was tapped to assist in questioning Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's accuser Thursday.
The Senate Judiciary Committee made the announcement this week ahead of questioning of Christine Blasey Ford, the California psychology professor accusing Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her more than 30 years ago, Fox News reported.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said Mitchell was hired because he wanted a hearing that was "safe, comfortable and dignified" for the accused and accuser.
Here are five things to know about Mitchell:
1. She has been a prosecutor for over two decades — Since 1993, Mitchell has worked as a prosecutor and has spent 12 years focusing on prosecution of sex-related felonies, including child molestation, adult sexual assault and cold cases, The Arizona Republic reported.
2. She has received various accolades — In 2006, Mitchell was named the County Attorney's Office Prosecutor of the Year and in 2003 she was officially recognized as an outstanding sexual assault prosecutor by then-Gov. Janet Napolitano and Attorney General Terry Goddard. According to the Arizona Republic, she was honored with the David R. White Excellence in Victim Advocacy Award in 2013.
3. She is a Republican — As a registered Republican, Mitchell has been a contributor to Arizona attorney general Mark Brnovich's campaign, The Washington Post noted. However, this will not influence her professional opinion, according to her former employer Cindi Nannetti.
4. She has prosecuted prominent community members — According to Fox News, Mitchell prosecuted a 13-year veteran of the Mesa Police Department accused of performing acts of sexual assault, as well as a former church volunteer in Scottsdale accused of molesting children.
5. She started off as a law clerk — Mitchell said her career began when she was a law clerk awaiting her bar exam results. At the time she was paired with a senior attorney, who was a former bureau chief of sex crimes working a case involving a youth choir director as an offender. "It struck me how innocent and vulnerable the victims of these cases really were," she told Frontline Magazine. "When I became an attorney with the office I prosecuted other kinds of cases, but I was drawn back to this area."
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