Joyce Alene Profile picture
Oct 2, 2018 18 tweets 4 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
1/ I have a few thoughts about Mitchell’s letter that I wanted to share. Random order. Mitchell says no rational prosecutor would bring a cases based on the evidence before the Committee, but that’s not really the issue here.
2/ I have never, as a prosecutor, concluded I would not move forward because the victim’s statement was uncorroborated, BEFORE investigators had the chance to investigate. That’s not how it works. Decisions about whether to prosecute are made after investigation is complete.
3/ Even if you agree with Mitchell’s assessment that Dr. Ford’s version of events is uncorroborated (& I don’t) it makes no sense to decide against prosecution before you know all the facts.
4/ Not to keep beating a dead horse here, but Mitchell saying she didn’t believe "a reasonable prosecutor would bring this case based on the evidence before the Committee," isn’t a very helpful conclusion when the Comm doesn’t have evidence before it because, no investigation.
5/ So, we’re in Senate confirmation proceedings & Senators must decide whether to hire Kavanaugh for a job he’ll keep for the rest of his life. But Mitchell doesn’t assess the evidence in a way that’s useful for hiring, instead considering whether K should be charged criminally.
6/ Here’s how she explains that decision: There is no clear standard of proof for allegations made during the Senate’s confirmation process. But the world in which I work is the legal world, not the political world. Thus, I can only provide my that legal context.
7/ And, here’s her conclusion: “A ‘he said, she said’ case is incredibly difficult to prove. But this case is even weaker than that. Dr. Ford identified other witnesses to the event, and those witnesses either refuted her allegations or failed to corroborate them.” I disagree.
8/ This isn't a he said/she said. 2 men were in the room. & there’s no reason for Ford to put Kav’s friend in as a defense witness if she’s making it up. Mitchell mischaracterizes the basic fact pattern & is apparently, unconcerned by the failure to interview a material witness
9/ HS/SS May be hard cases, but not impossible. Investigators work to see what they can corroborate. Here, no effort at corroboration was made before Mitchell reached her conclusion, which is negligent since at a minimum, folks Ford shared her story with could be interviewed.
10/ there is no clear legal standard for assessing misconduct in confirmation hearings. But it has never been proof beyond a reasonable doubt. It's probably a lot closer to this: remove yourself from the process if you can’t disprove credible allegations.
11/ After inserting the criminal standard & saying K can be confirmed in the absence of proof sufficient to convict him on criminal charges, she says witnesses, who haven’t testifed or been cross examined under oath, refute Ford. Or, criminal rules only apply if they benefit K.
12/ Until witness testify under oath and can be cross-examined, it's ridiculous to claim they refute/don't corroborate, if you're going to adhere to the criminal trial standard she uses. Minimum, FBI interviews are necessary.
13/ But even on their face, these statements aren't valuable or even remarkable, as there is no reason anyone except perhaps Judge would remember that night. Of course K, in testimony, dismissed Judge as an alcoholic & drug addict. #loyalty
14/ And Judge’s memory may not be reliable either. It may be that Ford, whose credibility is supported because she told her story before K was nominated ends, up being the most believable person. And the best corroboration may come from K himself.
15/ Kavanaugh’s July 1 Calendar has the boys Ford identifies getting together for (brew)skis & is potentially damaging to him & corroborative of her. It gives investigators lots of leads. No prosecutor would say this case shouldn’t be indicted until they’re all run out.
16/ Beyond this point, any discrepancies are reasons to investigate, not to decline prosecution. EVERY prosecutor knows that and the fact that Mitchell behaves disengenuously in this regard isn't in her favor here.
17/ Kavanaugh himself plays no role in Mitchell’s assessment. The obvious lies about HS yearbook comments he could have owned & regretted, the demeanor, the caginess about drinking - Mitchell ignores it all & concludes there’s no basis to indict in her expert judgment.
18/ Apologies for letting this get so long, but I wanted to point out some of the flaws in the analysis. I could have just said: this isn’t a criminal case & just because there not proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, it doesn’t mean he belongs on the Supreme Court.

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More from @JoyceWhiteVance

Sep 29, 2018
I’m at #TribFest18 in Austin, an incredible speaker fest you should google if you haven’t heard about. Later this morning @amyklobuchar is speaking. I’ll be here all day & on a couple of panels. I’ll keep it all in this thread so you can mute it if this isn’t your cup of tea.
I met this incredibly nice man on the way in who tells me Texas will have record voter registration for the midterms including young people & formerly incarcerated people who have regained the right to vote.
The end of a really amazing day: panel on Justice moderated by @Lawrence with @SallyQYates @neal_katyal and me.
Read 6 tweets
Sep 27, 2018
Asked by Senator Leahy whether Mark Judge should testify, Kavanaugh won’t say yes. He complains about delays & says Judge submitted an affidavit, but refuses to agree he should testify & be subjected to cross examination. This damages his credibility, perhaps irrevocably.
Leahy asks whether Kavanaugh is the drunken Bart O’Kavanaugh character in Judge’s book. Kavanaugh says Leahy will have to ask Judge. The look on Leahy’s face says that’s the whole point here.
Kavanaugh refusing to answer Senator Leahy’s questions & arguing belligerently with him does not enhance his credibility. He asserts the truth in a prepared statement but can’t seem to handle questions he has to have known were coming.
Read 7 tweets
Sep 11, 2018
1/ Trump isn't a fan of the FBI, but the truth is, the men & women who make up the Bureau work day in & day out to keep the American people safe. There are Joint Terrorism Task Forces across the country that bring federal, state & local law enforcement together to keep us safe.
2/ There are cases of national prominence, like the AbdulMutallab, who tried to take down a plane flying into Detroit with a shoe bomb on my good friend @BarbMcQuade's 1st day on board as US Attorney.…
3/ But there are scores more cases every year, across the country, that you've never heard about. And they are very important. The FBI's vigilance & commitment has prevented & prosecuted support of terrorism that could have endangered us if undetected.
Read 5 tweets
Aug 31, 2018
I got to wondering just how many Russian Oligarchs attended the Trump inauguration in light of Sam Patten's (he's Manafort's buddy & former GRU Agent Kilimnik's business partner) plea deal, in which he acknowledged illegally funneling foreign money to the inauguration. 1 of ?
There's a lot of information out there. I don't have a headcount, but, there is a lot of reporting that mentions Russian Oligarchs who attended inaugural festivities. This June 2018 story reports that Mueller was investigating them.…
"One Trump guest, oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, who has close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, has even been sanctioned by the Treasury Department in response to what U.S. officials called Moscow’s broad destabilizing activities during the presidential race."
Read 15 tweets
Aug 11, 2018
1. Here's a little public service announcement about your vote & the November elections. If you live in a state that is pruning its voter rolls or moving people to inactive status & you want to make sure you can vote on 11/6, what should you do? Read on, the time to act is now.
2. The Nat'l Voter Registration Action, also called the Motor Voter Act, provides that list maintenance programs cannot be undertaken within 90 days of a federal election. What is list maintenance & why should you care?
3. You may have heard about states where eligible voters were mysteriously "pruned" from voting rolls or moved to ineligible status? Despite concerns this was done to suppress Democratic votes, SCOTUS upheld these roll maintenance programs, so states can continue to do this.
Read 10 tweets
Jul 31, 2018
1/ Collusion has become a short hand term that is widely used for the entire range of conduct Trump & people in his orbit have engaged in, that makes us suspicious about his relationship with Russia.
2/ Today, in the face of mounting evidence that Trump may have had advance notice of the Trump Tower meeting with Russians, Rudy Giuliani engaged in his most recent goal post-moving exercise, maintaining that even if there was collusion, it's not a crime.
3/ Technically that's true, in the sense there is no crime titled "Collusion." There is, however, the crime of conspiracy–an agreement between 2 or more people to defraud the US. One of the coconspirators must take a step towards the crime, called committing an "overt act."
Read 5 tweets

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