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Bill Montgomery discusses Arizona prosecutor’s role in Senate testimony

In this Oct. 27, 2004 photo Rachel Mitchell makes an opening statement in the trial of Karl LeClaire at court in Mesa, Ariz. Senate Republicans are bringing Mitchell to handle questioning about allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh at Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. (Jack Kurtz /The Arizona Republic via AP, Pool)

PHOENIX — Arizona prosecutor Rachel Mitchell will question Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the woman accusing him of sexual misconduct, Christine Blasey Ford, during Thursday’s highly anticipated Senate testimony.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News the work that Mitchell will be doing on Thursday is not much different from the work she usually does in her role as prosecutor.

“I think that, because this isn’t a trial, this is an effort by a committee to develop as much information as they can, they want to develop the demeanor and the road of credibility of the witnesses,” he said.

“That is often the starting point for prosecutors in assessing cases. We want to understand what we do have, evidentiary-wise. Even in the case of prosecuting a crime, we ask some of the same questions.”

Montgomery said the high-profile hearing will be the first time, for some people, seeing how a prosecutor works outside of television shows.

“Our goal is to get to the truth, not to tear someone down,” he added.

Kavanaugh and Ford, a California psychology professor, will testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Ford plans to tell the committee that, one night in the summer of 1982, a drunken Kavanaugh forced her down on a bed, “groped me and tried to take off my clothes,” then clamped his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream before she was able to escape.

Kavanaugh has denied the allegation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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