Report: Grassley hires former sex-crimes prosecutor to question Ford during hearing

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Both Breitbart and Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch are hearing the same thing. Lest there was any doubt, yes, the lawyer in question is a woman.

Documents obtained Monday by Breitbart News indicate Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has enlisted an “experienced sex-crimes prosecutor” to handle questioning at Thursday’s hearing on the 36-year-old sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

The prosecutor has not yet been publicly identified but the documents indicate she is a woman…

Ford’s legal team has been informed of the decision to use an “experienced sex-crimes prosecutor” at Thursday’s hearing, now scheduled for 10:00 a.m.

I’m tempted to make a joke here about even Republicans not trusting Republicans’ ability to question Ford respectfully, but of course that’s not the reason why Grassley has gone this route. He’s doing this because liberal narratives are indestructible. No matter how courteous they are to Ford, the howls about patriarchal right-wing men re-violating a sexual assault victim by asking her skeptical questions about what happened to her will follow. Chris Hayes is typically one of the more soft-spoken partisans in left-wing media and here’s what he sounded like on Friday when tweeting about Ford’s request for a delay in testifying:

The poor guy is so frantic to push the “Republican rapists” storyline that he’s rolling it out six days before the hearing.

Rumors were swirling earlier that the female former prosecutor whom Grassley has enlisted to grill Ford is none other than Kelly Ayotte, a Republican ex-senator herself. Ayotte used to be attorney general of New Hampshire and spent 10 years as a prosecutor, so she’s qualified. She’d stand to benefit professionally from doing Grassley this otherwise thankless favor, too. It would certainly earn her some goodwill from Trump, which could mean any number of federal appointments. He’s probably going to need a new Attorney General (and/or deputy Attorney General) soon, no? There are always judicial vacancies that need filling. Ayotte would probably be easily confirmed for anything by her former colleagues given her Senate pedigree, although of course giving Ford a rough time would instantly render her poisonous to Democrats.

Ayotte said earlier today, though, that she had nothing to do with it:

She’s only 50, plenty of time for a second act in politics. Unless, of course, she needlessly alienated liberals in her purplish home state by going to bat for Kavanaugh against Ford. Go figure that she isn’t involved.

Ayotte would solve the political problem raised by a group of men questioning an alleged victim of sexual assault but wouldn’t accomplish the goal of making Republicans’ questioning of Ford look “apolitical” given her Senate pedigree. The rules are different for the two witnesses on Thursday, needless to say. Kavanaugh is a political appointee, someone who spent his early professional years “in the arena” against Democrats (first with Ken Starr, then the Bush White House), and a person of considerable fame and influence. Democrats will take off the gloves and grandstand to within an inch of their lives in questioning him. Ford was a semi-anonymous academic until last week and claims to be the victim of a sexual assault that scarred her for years afterward. Questioning her should be a just-the-facts process. Grassley’s strategy, I think, is that little of substance is likely to be achieved by cross-examination here — probably the best outcome is to get Ford to admit on the record to major holes in her memory of the incident — and therefore the political battle is likely to be won by setting a serious tone that contrasts sharply with that of the Democrats. If the GOP’s lawyer proceeds professionally with Ford while Cory Booker is weeping clownishly for the cameras while lambasting Kavanaugh, that’s not a bad outcome for Republicans.

As for the process that’s due to the accuser and accused, here’s a worthy thread on the left-wing talking point that essentially no due process is owed to Kavanaugh. This is a job interview, not a court hearing, right? Well…

I wrote about this over the weekend but will reiterate the point here: The reason we keep hearing that the burden of proof should be placed in this case on the accused, not the accuser, is because Kavanaugh’s critics understand that the evidence against him is so weak that it would fail to meet any threshold of demonstrable culpability in American law, civil or criminal. The only way to arrive at the conclusion that Kavanaugh is probably guilty of assaulting Ford based on the evidence we have is to begin there. Assume he’s guilty and force him to make the case that he isn’t. Never mind that Ford is so hazy on the where and when of the attack that she’s left him with no way to provide an alibi.

Oh, one more thing. If true, this actually could make the questioning of Ford on Thursday interesting:

I haven’t seen that suggested elsewhere, that Ford’s polygraph might not have involved her being asked specifically about Kavanaugh. But if it’s okay for Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer to pass along what’s essentially speculation, why can’t I?

Here’s Hot Air alumnus Noah Rothman on “Morning Joe” today asking Dem Sen. Richard Blumenthal if he thinks we should turn due process upside down and make the accused prove his innocence in this case. Sure, said Bloomy. This guy was attorney general of Connecticut for 20 years.

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