DEMNVER — The hearing was unprecedented.
Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday about alleged assault at the hands of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as millions of Americans watched.
Chris Decker, a Denver defense attorney who has cross-examined hundreds of sexual assault victims, was especially watching Rachel Mitchell, the Arizona prosecutor chosen by Republicans to question Ford.
“It is the type of examination that even experienced trial attorneys fear,” Decker said.
Decker said Mitchell failed, adding she was unable or unwilling to ask the tough, targeted questions that could have established inconsistencies in Blasey Ford’s testimony.
“The questions this morning, while probative, were just not that sharp,” Decker said. “They were not directed and lacked the punch I would have expected and I think the Republican senators would have hoped for.”
Attorney Pamela Maass, who represents survivors of sexual assault, said she believes Mitchell’s questions were too narrow.
“If the goal was to get the truth they should have been open ended,” she said.
Maass and Decker said Kavanaugh’s demeanor was not what they expected.
“The judicial temperament didn’t come across to me,” said Maass.
“Showing that anger or emotion is usually dangerous,” added Decker.
However, this isn’t a trial and there’s no telling what kind of impact the hearing will have until Kavanaugh’s confirmation comes before the Senate for a full vote.