Women in Politics

“The chair is going to exercise the right to allow the witnesses to answer the question, and the committee is on notice to provide the witnesses the courtesy — which has not been extended all the way across — extend the courtesy for questions to get answered."

Those were the words of Senator Richard M. Burr, Republican of North Carolina and the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, to Senator Kamala Harris, Democrat of California, during her questioning of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein a week ago.

To be sure, Ms. Harris was only doing her job. But Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, did not like the interaction between Ms. Harris and Mr. Rosenstein, so he pleaded with Mr. Burr to interupt.

“Mr. Chairman," said Mr. McCain. "They should be allowed to answer the question.”

Both senators teamed up against Ms. Harris because they felt like she wasn't giving Mr. Rosenstein a fair chance to answer her questions. However, it was clear to all, that she was only trying to get the deputy attorney general to answer her questions.

Ms. Harris asked Mr. Rosenstein if he would sign a letter allowing Special Counsel Robert Muller unlimited authority in his Russian probe. Mr. Rosenstein said that he didn't have enough time to give a full answer, so Ms. Harris told him to answer with a simple, "yes" or "no."

"It's not a short answer, senator," Rosenstein said.

"It is," said Ms. Harris. "Either you are willing to do that or you are not."

Then, Mr. McCain interrupted the questioning.

On Tuesday, Mr. Mccain and Mr. Burr were back at it, interrupting Ms. Harris during her questioning of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Mr. Sessions refused to answer multiple questions from the committee, citing a Department of Justice policy that stopped him from saying anything about his private conversations with President Trump.

Ms. Harris asked Mr. Sessions whether or not he asked his staff to show him the policy that would allow him to refuse to answer questions about the President. Mr. Sessions tried to dance around the question but Ms. Harris persisted.

Once again, Mr. McCain and Mr. Burr interrupted her, with Mr. Burr later cutting her off to say that her time had expired.

Both occurrences garnered wide spread criticism from Democrats, spilling into a stand-off on CNN between political analyst Kirsten Powers and CNN political commentator and former Trump campaign spokesperson Jason Miller, who said that Ms. Harris' actions were "hysterical."

After last week's hearing, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, who was silenced after she tried to read a letter by Coretta Scott King, in her opposition to the then-attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions, tweeted her support for Ms. Harris.

Tag: Politics