Judge Napolitano: GOP made 'grave error' in how special counsel questioned Ford

Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano on Thursday criticized the tactics employed by the outside counsel hired by Republican senators to question Christine Blasey Ford before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Napolitano said he did not believe Rachel Mitchell — a sex crimes prosecutor hired by Republicans to question Ford about her allegations that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her — succeeded in undermining Ford's credibility.

"I think the Republicans made a grave error, not necessarily in choosing Mrs. Mitchell, but in having her craft her questioning the way she did," Napolitano said on Fox News after Ford completed her testimony. 

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"It sounded more like a deposition in a civil case where you’re looking for information and you want the witness to talk, rather than the type of interrogation which would limit the witnesses testimony and undermine her credibility," he added.

Ford testified over the course of roughly four hours on Thursday, delivering a searing opening statement recounting an incident where Kavanaugh allegedly pinned her to a bed and groped her during a high school party in the 1980s.

She then fielded questions from Democrats and from Mitchell, to whom Republicans ceded their time.

A number of commentators noted that Mitchell had not been as aggressive as they expected in questioning Ford.

Napolitano said on Fox News that he believes Ford's testimony has put Kavanaugh in a "far deeper hole," and went as far as to suggest that Mitchell's questioning solidified Ford's credibility by allowing the witness to give "amiable, rational, emotional" answers.

"I realize how delicate this [is] and I understand of course the reasons for which they chose Rachel Mitchell, but I don’t think she succeeded," he added.

Kavanaugh is set to testify on Thursday afternoon.