Intel Committee Chair Cuts Off Kamala Harris For Second Time In A Week (VIDEO)

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., reacts during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, June 7, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/AP

Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr (R-NC) cut off Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) for the second time in a week on Tuesday as she pressed Attorney General Jeff Sessions to discuss a policy he cited to avoid answering other questions.

“Is that policy in writing somewhere?” Harris asked Sessions during an open session of the committee.

“I think so,” Sessions replied.

“So did you not consult it before you came before this committee knowing we would ask you questions about that?” she pressed.

“Well, we talked about it. The policy is based—” Sessions began.

“Did you ask that it would be shown to you?” Harris asked.

“The policy is based on the principle that the President—” Sessions began again, before Harris interjected.

“Sir, I’m not asking about the principle. I am asking, when you knew you would be asked these questions and you would rely on that policy, did you not ask your staff to show you the policy that would be the basis for you refusing to answer the majority of questions that have been asked to you?” she asked.

“Well, I am unable to answer the questions,” Sessions said.

“Chairman, the witness should be allowed to answer the question,” Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) interrupted Harris, also for the second time in a week.

“Senators will allow the chair to control the hearing,” Burr said. “Senator, let him answer.”

After Harris pressed Sessions again for a yes or no answer while Sessions spoke over her again, he said, “The answer is yes, I consulted.”

“It was a simple question,” Harris tweeted afterward.

Burr cut off Harris’ questions last week as she tried to question Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Harris, the only woman of color on the committee and the former attorney general of California, pressed Rosenstein at the time to give a firm yes or no answer as to whether special counsel Robert Mueller had “full independence” to pursue the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

McCain complained that Harris was not letting Rosenstein answer, and Burr subsequently chastised her and cut her off.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.

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