Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s hearing over sexual assault allegations is set for Thursday.
This week, both sides have laid out supporting evidence regarding the accuser’s 36-year-old allegations.
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The Senate Judiciary Committee has also announced the lawyer they’ve hired to question both Kavanaugh and his accuser.
The stage is set for Thursday.
Here’s what we know so far —
#1 — The accusation and evidence
The accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, has revealed she has sworn testimony of four friends, including her husband, that confirms they were told about the alleged assault. Each person has submitted testimony to the Senate ahead of the hearing. None of her backers will appear Thursday.
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Adela Gildo-Mazzon said Ford told her about the alleged assault in 2013 over a meal out at a restaurant. Keith Koegler said he was told about the alleged assault in 2016 while his children and Ford’s played. And Ford’s neighbor, Rebecca White, said Ford confided in her about the alleged assault in 2017 while they were chatting after a walk.
Ford’s husband has also submitted a written testimony saying his wife first told him about the assault during a couple’s psychotherapy session in 2012.
#2 — The defense and evidence
Kavanaugh has fiercely denied the allegations. But the long-time federal judge doesn’t know whether Ford was assaulted. Instead, Kavanaugh has repeatedly said that whatever happened could not have involved him. Seventy-five women have stepped forward and defended Kavanaugh’s character since the allegations went public.
As supporting evidence, Kavanaugh has submitted his detailed calendar from 1982, the year of the alleged incident.
According to the detailed calendar, Kavanaugh was grounded at home for three weekends, on a beach vacation or away at camp for most others. He listed in detail chores and exam dates, as well as basketball games he frequently attended, and what friends were present with him.
Judge Kavanaugh’s 1982 calendar, submitted to Senate Judiciary Committee pic.twitter.com/VxzMQvgxNE
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) September 26, 2018
There are a number of high school parties listed in the calendar. None of the parties listed include the names of any of the alleged attendees of the incident Ford described.
Additionally, all three reported eyewitnesses to the alleged assault — including a longtime personal friend of Ford — have submitted sworn testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee that they have zero memories of the night Ford has described.
#3 — The woman who will do the questioning
Senate Republicans have announced Arizona prosecutor Rachel Mitchell will question both Kavanaugh and his accuser at Thursday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
She is described as tough, experienced and, above all, unbiased.
According to The Associated Press, Mitchell works in the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office in Phoenix as the chief of the Special Victims Division. She supervises attorneys who handle cases involving child molestation, sexual assault and computer crimes against children in Arizona’s most populous county.
Mitchell, who has decades of experience prosecuting sex crimes, “has been recognized in the legal community for her experience and objectivity,” committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, said in a statement Tuesday.
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, Mitchell’s boss, praised her experience in an interview with The Arizona Republic, calling her an “objective prosecutor” who has a “caring heart” for victims. He said he was contacted by staff members of the Judiciary Committee over the weekend about Mitchell’s qualifications.
In July 2014, Mitchell prosecuted a former church volunteer in the Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale who molested children in his care as a church baby sitter and camp counselor over a seven-year period. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison with lifetime probation.
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“People want to go to a church on a Sunday and feel safe,” Mitchell said at the time, adding that the settings of his actions “should be taken into account.”
In 2015, Mitchell prosecuted a 13-year veteran of the Mesa Police Department who groped two women, one of whom had passed out.
She has been named Arizona’s Outstanding Sexual Assault Prosecutor as well as Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Prosecutor of the Year.
Last year, the county attorney’s office introduced a sex crimes protocol — the first in its history. The new policy manual will ensure that prosecutors have a guide “so that we can do the best we can for victims,” Mitchell told a local NPR station.
“It’s always hard to know which victims were not victims or which people were not victims because your system worked,” Mitchell said in a January interview with Phoenix radio station KJZZ.
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