Rachel Mitchell, the prosecutor hired by the Senate Judiciary Committee to question Judge Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser Dr. Christine Ford last week, is out with her analysis of the allegations. In short, even she would not move forward with a case against Kavanaugh.  

Mitchell has nearly 25 years of experiencing prosecuting sex-related cases in Arizona. She’s not partisan and has no ax to grind. Mitchell was brought in by Republicans for last Thursday’s hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee when she was able to question both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh.

Based on her experience, Mitchell finds that there is just not enough in Ford’s claim that would make her as a prosecutor move forward with this case. Explaining in a 9-point memo to Republican senators, Mitchell explains her reasoning and concludes:

“A “he said, she said” case is incredibly difficult to prove. But this case is even weaker than that. Dr. Ford identified other witnesses to the event, and those witnesses either refuted her allegations or failed to corroborate them… I do not think that a reasonable prosecutor would bring this case based on the evidence before the Committee.”

Here are just a few highlights from her memo:

Dr. Ford has not offered a consistent account of when the alleged assault happened.

  • While it is common for victims to be uncertain about dates, Dr. Ford failed to explain how she was suddenly able to narrow the timeframe to a particular season and particular year.

Dr. Ford has struggled to identify Judge Kavanaugh as the assailant by name.

  • No name was given in her 2012 marriage therapy notes.
  • No name was given in her 2013 individual therapy notes.
  • In any event, it took Dr. Ford over thirty years to name her assailant. Delayed disclosure of abuse is common so this is not dispositive.

Dr. Ford has no memory of key details of the night in question—details that could help corroborate her account.

  • She does not remember who invited her to the party or how she heard about it.
  • She does not remember how she got to the party.
  • She does not remember in what house the assault allegedly took place or where that house was located with any specificity. • Perhaps most importantly, she does not remember how she got from the party back to her house.

Dr. Ford’s account of the alleged assault has not been corroborated by anyone she identified as having attended—including her lifelong friend.

  • Dr. Ford has named three people other than Judge Kavanaugh who attended the party— Mark Judge, Patrick “PJ” Smyth, and her lifelong friend Leland Keyser (née Ingham). Dr. Ford testified to the Committee that another boy attended the party, but that she could not remember his name. No others have come forward.
  • All three named eyewitnesses have submitted statements to the Committee denying any memory of the party whatsoever.

The activities of congressional Democrats and Dr. Ford’s attorneys likely affected Dr. Ford’s account.

We can’t say that something did or did not happen to Dr. Ford. However, it speaks volumes that an experienced prosecutor of sex crimes has serious questions about Ford’s memory of the events, found significant discrepancies in her testimony, and points to a lack of corroboration from Ford's named witnesses. Perhaps there’s a reason this allegation was never filed with the state of Maryland, where the incident was alleged to have occurred.

While we take allegations of sexual assault seriously, we cannot assume that an allegation is true based on no evidence, no corroboration, and questionable discrepancies just because it comes from a woman.

Judge Kavanaugh deserves the presumption of innocence in this case and he should be confirmed.