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GOP leaning toward Arizona sex crimes prosecutor to question Kavanaugh accuser: report

 GOP leaning toward Arizona sex crimes prosecutor to question Kavanaugh accuser: report
© Greg Nash

Republicans are reportedly leaning toward selecting an Arizona sex crimes prosecutor to question the woman testifying at a hearing Thursday on her allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

The Washington Post, citing two people familiar with the decision, reported Tuesday that Rachel Mitchell, the sex crimes bureau chief for the Maricopa County Attorney's office in Phoenix, is the likely choice for the hearing.

Republicans have weighed selecting an outside counsel to question Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Kavanaugh of pinning her to a bed and trying to remove her clothes during a high school party in 1982, when both were teenagers.

Kavanaugh has flatly denied the allegations.

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Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee have not disclosed Mitchell's name and spokespeople did not immediately return The Hill's request for comment. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGraham backs bill to protect Mueller Grassley defends acting AG against calls for recusal Former staffers push Congress for action on sexual harassment measure MORE (R-Ky.) had said earlier Tuesday that Republicans had hired someone to ask Ford questions in the Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday.

“We have hired a female assistant to go on staff and to ask these questions in a respectful and professional way," he said.

All 11 Republicans on the Judiciary Committee are men, and the GOP has sought to avoid having male Republican senators ask tough questions of Ford.

Leaders are seeking to avoid comparisons to the 1991 Anita Hill hearings, when she was questioned by an all-male Judiciary panel about her allegations of sexual harassment against then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas.

Currently, the only four women on the Judiciary panel are Democrats.

Ford has stated that she does not remember where or when the alleged assault occurred, as well as what she did before and after.

Kavanaugh planned to give the committee his calendars from 1982, which reportedly include no details about a party similar to one detailed by Ford.