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Kavanaugh Hearing: Breaking Down the Rachel Mitchell Method

Image from Axios

The Methodology Debate

Many conservatives have questioned the benefit of selecting an outside prosecutor to question Christine Blasey Ford during the Kavanaugh hearing. Many did not appreciate the method of questioning implemented, nor her being the only one doing the questioning of Ford from the Republican party.

Many wanted Ms. Mitchell to bare her fangs and strike with queen cobra accuracy and ferocity. If one were to simply look at the techniques used by the woman, there is a method to the softness, and it may be possible to lick someone to death.

It was clear that five-minute increments of questions cannot by any means conclude anything. On the other hand, what one can do is zoom in on the moments during those increments that are extremely telling.

Who Is Rachel Mitchell?

The questioner herself, Rachel Mitchell is based out of Arizona and specializes in sexual abuse cases. She is very familiar with these types of cases and how to come to conclusions, the extent of the law, and the mode used to get to the bottom of the case. There are obvious methods to the madness, a manner behind the softness, and in the case of the Kavanaugh hearing, there was a methodology to her means of questions for Dr. Ford.

Rachel Mitchell played it soft because the behavior by which Ford exhibited was withdrawn, emotionally distraught and soft-spoken. She was a broken church mouse trying to let everyone know of the big nasty mean feral cat outside.

Body Language is Very Telling

Body Language experts have stated that much of Ford’s body language and behavior is likened to a “pretty pose.” It is this closed off, smallness that almost assumes the aspect of a child and plays on the emotions many adults want to protect. The purpose was to come off as cute and dainty. The pretty pose was Ford’s default behavioral disposition. The expert also noted that Ford’s voice during her testimony was froggy, breathy, and again withdrawn.

As one observes her disposition, the chin is dug into her chest, while her voice sounds like its laden with mucus and it cuts off the air supply to the point where she has to take light broken breaths in order to deliver her words. One will also note that she is reading. This is another telltale sign, stated by the expert, that her opening speech is rehearsed.

Obviously it is not enough to incriminate her in this whole debacle, but it is telling. Regardless, Rachel Mitchell had to play it soft because the way Dr. Ford played it as a broken PTSD-suffering trauma victim who could have shut down at any moment, making the hearing more of a circus than it already had been.

Playing the Hand Dealt

Mitchell held her cards tight-fisted and close to her heart -- and, she played the hand dealt her well! She has done this before. Mitchell gave Ford all the rope she needed before Ford hung herself through her own testimony.

Mitchell played it sympathetic, at first, in order to alleviate Christine’s “fears” as she claimed to be reliving her trauma. Once Ford’s defenses were down, Mitchell launched into the questions, and the public hanging began.

Testimony Exchange

Some examples of the questions Mitchell presented to Ford are as follows and without the use of tonal inflection, vocal variations, visual stimuli, and recollection of the hearing. See if you, as the reader, can pick up on some of the tell-tale signs.

These are in no particular order other than the segments of questions and answers between Mitchell and Ford.

Mitchell: "After the alleged assault in question, were you able to hear conversations downstairs?"

Ford: “No…”

Mitchell: “Let me make sure we’re on the same page, were you not able to hear the conversation or were you not able to understand the conversation?”

Ford: “I was not able to hear the conversation.”

Mitchell: “How do you know there was a conversation?”

Ford: “I’m just assuming since it was a social gathering, people were talking, I don’t know…”

Mitchell: “In your letter you wrote ‘... both loudly stumbled down the stairwell at which point other persons at the house were talking with them…’ does that ring a bell?”

The rope looped around the accuser’s throat.

Testimony - Ford Meeting with Senator Eschoo

Mitchell: "Did you meet with any Republican senators regarding your allegations?"

Ford: "In her county, it is Eshoo, as the Congresswoman."

Mitchell: "Did your counsel make you aware of the Committee’s invitation to go to California to interview you?"

At this, Ford’s lawyers objected and called it, “privileged conversations between counsel and Ford.” Senator Grassley, not taking this lightly, asserted for Ford to answer the question because it does not violate consult relationships. Ford responded she did not know the offer was made.

Mitchell: “Before July 30th… had you retained counsel with regards to these allegations?”

Ford: “No…”

Mitchell:  "You requested that Feinstein keep this information confidential until August 7th, because you were on the East Coast vacationing. Did you talk to anybody about this letter before you sent it.”

Ford: “I talked with Anna Eshoo’s office.”

Mitchell: “And why did you talk to Congresswoman Eshoo’s office about that letter?”

Ford: “Because they were willing to hand deliver it to Senator Feinstein.”

Mitchell: “Did anyone help you write the letter?”

Ford: “No.”

Mitchell: “After you sent your letter, did you or anyone on your behalf speak to Sen. Feinstein personally or with any Senate staffer?”

Ford: “Yes, I had a phone call with Sen. Feinstein.”

Mitchell: “And when was that?”

Ford: “That was while I still in Delaware which was August 7th.”

Testimony - Fear of Flying

Now remember, Ford had claimed she had a fear of flying. She lives in California as a contract lectern of Psychology at Palo Alto University. Driving between July 30th and August 7th is unheard of considering it takes about 24-48 consecutive hours of driving in order to make it with enough time to vacation.

In order to arrive in Delaware from Palo Alto, one would have to leave on a full tank of gas, drive between 24-48 hours straight, stay in New England for a maximum of two days, before leaving on the 5th in order to drive back to Palo Alto and arrive on time on August 7th.

This takes the use of Delta or Southwest airlines and not your SUV. Obviously, this is speculation as far as time frames but regardless, a six-hour flight versus a 100 hour total drive time makes less sense than this case.

Testimony - Feinstein

Mitchell continues: “And how many times did you speak with Senator Feinstein?”

Ford: “Just one…”

Mitchell without skipping a beat injects with: “What did you talk about?”

Ford: “She asked me some questions about the incident, and I answered those questions.”

Mitchell: “Was that the gist of the conversation?”

Ford: “Yes, it was a fairly brief phone call.”

Mitchell goes on to ask: “Did you ever give Senator Feinstein or anyone else the permission to release that letter?”

Ford: “Not that I know of, no.”

Mitchell: “Between the letter date, did you speak with any other person about your allegations?”

Ford: “Could you say the date again?”

Mitchell repeats her question. Remember, this date was during her vacation time. Her lawyer interjects ensuring that counsel/client confidentiality is not impeded. It was not.

Ford: “I was not speaking personally about it.”

Mitchell: “Aside from lawyers that you were seeking to hire to possibly represent you, did you speak to anybody else about it during that time?

Mitchell: "So would it be fair to say you retained counsel during that time period of July 30th to August 7th?”

Ford replied that she did not remember the exact date other than interviewing lawyers at a Walgreen’s parking lot.

Mitchell’s final question for this round was, “You testified earlier that you didn’t see the need for lawyers and now you're trying to hire them, what made you change your mind?” Ford said she was advised to get a lawyer to push forward or stay back. Mitchell then circles back and ask if part of that advice was from Eshoo or Feinstein. Ford said it was not.

More Inconsistencies, Bring Out the Maps

Regarding the memory and mathematical inconsistency of Ford’s assertions regarding party location, Mitchell provides a blow-up of a map of where Ford’s home was located. The map includes the beltway area, the country club, the homes of Judge, Ford, and Ingham’s house, Blasey’s childhood home, and the location of where the house party was possible held.

Mitchell’s map asserts based on tax records that Blasey Ford’s childhood home was approximately between 6.2 and 8.2 miles away from the club as calculated with a one-mile radius, with the supposed house party two miles away from the country club where Ford claimed to have been swimming at just before the gathering.

Ford says the house was between her home and the club. Mitchell asks if anyone drove Ford to and from the party. Ford said someone did. Mitchell then asks if anyone came forward to claim that he or she was the one who drove Ford back home from the party. Ford said no one came forward.

Testimony- The Date in Question

Mitchell then switches gears to talk about the actual date: Ford said to the Washington Post that this event happened in the mid-80s. To Feinstein, she said it occurred in the early 80s. In the polygraph statement, she said it was “high school summer in the 80s”. Mitchell then quotes Ford’s text to the Washington Post who said it happened in the summer of 1982, at the end of her sophomore year of high school.

Mitchell dropped the question, “How were you able to narrow down the time frame?” Ford said she cannot know the exact date other than the knowing when Mark Judge worked at the Potomac Safeway convenience store at the time. Ford then says she played off of the memory of when she got her license since she did not drive to or from the party.

Therapy Session Notes DO NOT Mention Kavanaugh

Mitchell then harkens back to the therapy sessions information as given to the Washington Post. On a text dated July 6, 2018, Ford texted the Washington Post saying, “Have therapy records talking about it.” Mitchell then asks if Ford had her therapy records at that time. Ford said she looked at them online to see if they existed. Mitchell then asked if she showed the full or partial record to the Washington Post. Ford was not sure if she gave them the record.

Therefore, it is possible the reporter did not see the notes. Ford did not recall. Mitchell then asked if she showed the records to anyone else outside of counsel. Ford said she only showed counsel. Mitchell then grills Ford by asking, “Would it be fair to say Brett Kavanaugh’s name is not listed in those notes?” Ford said his name is not listed. “Would it be fair to say that the therapists notes that we’ve been talking say that there are four boys in the room?” The therapist got it wrong according to Ford. Mitchell then asked if Ford corrected the Washington Post. Ford said, “No…”

The Washington Post

Mitchell also asked about why Ford contacted The Washington Post.
Mitchell: "On July 6th, you stated to have a “sense of urgency to and needed to contact the Senate and the President regarding this.” Were you able to contact the Senate or the President before July 6th?"
 Ford: "Didn’t know how to contact them."

Mitchell: "Prior to July 6th, had you contacted Congress which included any Congressional staffers, Senators, or House of Representatives regarding these matters. "

Ford: "I Did not."

Mitchell: “Why did you contact the Washington Post then on July 6th?”

Ford then claimed that it was Eshoo’s office that contacted her on the date of the SCOTUS nominee when she tried to get word back from them. Mitchell then asked if Ford spoke to anyone in Eshoo’s office regarding the allegations prior to July 9th. Ford said she talked to Eshoo’s receptionist.

Bad Advice Given, Bad Advice Taken

Mitchell then went to July 10th when Ford contacted the Washington Post a third time where Ford texted, “Been advised to contact Senators or New York Times haven’t heard back from Washington Post.” Mitchell asked who told Ford to contact the New York Times or Senators. Ford said it was beach friends coming up with ideas on how to get to people due to lack of contact.

Mitchell asked if Ford contacted the New York Times to which Ford said no, due to no desire to go down the media route and felt that the Washington Post was enough. Mitchell asked if the Washington Post text messaged Ford back with contact information on a reporter. Ford revealed that it was Emma Brown who contacted Ford and ultimately wrote the September 16th story regarding Ford’s allegations.

Mitchell asked again if Ford met with Congress about the allegations between July 10th and 30th which was when the letter was given to Feinstein. Ford said she did meet on a Wednesday with staff and then with Dianne herself two days later. Ford said she was alone when she met with Sen. Feinstein. Mitchell then asked about the content of the conversation that took place on July 18th and the 20th. Ford said she relayed the details of the night in question as well as fears about confidentiality. Feinstein assured Ford that this conversation was confidential and that she had nothing to worry about.

Sweep the Cards Up From the Table

Ultimately, it is Mitchell’s clean up questions that are the most poignant ones to focus in on. Mitchell first asks which attorney’s office Dianne Feinstein recommend. Ford replies, “The Katz office.” Michelle then reverts back to the night of the party in question and asks, “And when you did leave that night, did Leland Kyser no Kyser ever follow up with, ‘Hey, what happened to you?’”

Ford responds with, “I’ve had communications with her recently. Mitchell clarifies with, “I’m talking about like the next day or…” Ford answers with, “Oh no, she didn’t know about the event. She was downstairs during the event…” Mitchell switches gears again and asks, “And are you aware that the three people at the party besides yourself and Brett Kavanaugh have given a statement under penalty of felony to the committee?” Ford says yes she knows. “Are you aware of what those statements say?” Ford says “Yes.”

“Are you aware that they say that they have no memory of such a party?” Ford says, “Yes.” “Do you have any motives to subscribe to Leland?” Ford throws her best lifelong friend under the bus by telling the committee about Kyser’s “health issues.” She does not expect PJ and Leland will remember the party because of the level of the party’s excitement, but she expects Judge to remember the event in question.

Mitchell then asks Ford if she knows the best way to get to memory and truth regarding the process of interviewing victims of trauma. Mitchell then lectures Ford, the committee, and the general public on the correct procedural methods and uses Giesel and Fisher’s expert advice to denote the means of using a Cognitive interview.

Mitchell then asked if Ford was advised to get a forensic interview. Ford answered, “No.” Mitchell then asked, “Instead, you were advised to get an attorney and take a polygraph, is that right?” Ford answered with, “Many people advised me to an attorney. Once I got an attorney, my attorney and I discussed the polygraph.”

The Truth - Ford is a Pawn

Mitchell, with fiery eyes, then asked, “And instead of submitting to an interview in California, we’re having a hearing here today in five-minute increments, is that right?” Ford, who looked stressed at this point, said: “I agree that’s what was agreed upon by the collegial group here.”

No further questions were asked. Instead, the public has more questions about Dr. Christine Blasey Ford than when the hearing began.

Rachel Mitchell’s own breakdown memo of the hearing is found in her report released on October 1, 2018. Feel free to follow along and read what the assessment of a professional prosecutor for sexual abuse trials looks like, as any sensible lawyer would do.

John Lee / Senior Contributor
I am a conservative, Christian Asian who loves God, country, and music. I am proud to be American and want to MAGA!
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