Senate Republicans have hired a female attorney to ask questions of Christine Blasey Ford at Thursday's hearing on her sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Politico reported Tuesday.
Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said, however, "we aren't announcing the name for her safety" as a precaution.
The Washington Post later Tuesday reported the GOP was leaning toward hiring Rachel Mitchell, who heads up the sex crimes bureau of the Maricopa County Attorney's office.
All the Republicans on the committee are males. The GOP has said the use of the attorney to ask questions of Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh will not preclude the senators from also doing so.
But Blasey Ford's lawyer Michael Bromwich criticized the hiring of "an unnamed 'experienced sex crimes prosecutor,'" warning it could turn the hearing into a "circus" and said it is contrary to his client's repeated requests that senators conduct the questioning, according to The Hill.
Bromwich pointed out there is no precedent for the use of an outside counsel "for the sole purpose of shielding the members" from asking a witness questions when they are testifying before the committee.
Democrats said they are also still trying to find out about the full rules of the hearing.
GOP leaders have hinted the Senate might remain in session after the hearing and over the weekend in an attempt to confirm Kavanaugh quickly.
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