New York [U.S.], June. 14 : It was a frustrating moment for Senator Kamala Harris, who once again found herself interrupted by her male colleagues during the Congressional testimony of Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday.
This comes after the incident of last week, when Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein repeatedly refused to answer a question from Sen.
Harris, following which both Sens. Richard Burr and John McCain almost shushed her. Sessions was asked pointed questions by Harris about policies from the Department of Justice he was citing as the reason he was unable to answer certain questions during his testimony.
Here is how the critical exchange went down exactly, according to Vox: Harris: You referred to a longstanding DOJ policy, can you tell us what policy it is that you're talking about? Sessions: Well, I think most cabinet people as the witnesses you had before you earlier, those individuals declined to comment because we're all about conversations with the president.
Harris: Sir, I'm just asking you about the DOJ policy you referred to. Sessions: The policy that goes beyond just the attorney general. Harris: Is that policy in writing somewhere? Sessions: I think so. Harris: So did you not consult it before you came before this committee knowing we would ask you questions about it? Sessions: Well, we talked about it.
The policy is based -- Harris: Did you ask that it would be shown to you? Sessions: The policy is based on the principle that the president -- Harris: Sir, I'm not asking about the principle.
I'm asking -- Sessions: I'm not able to answer the question. Harris: When you knew that you would be asked these questions and you would rely on this policy, did you not ask your staff to show you the policy that would be the basis for refusing to answer the majority of the questions that have been asked of you.
McCain: The attorney general should be allowed to answer the questions. Burr: Senators will allow the chair to control the hearing. Sen. Harris let him answer. Harris: Please do. Sessions: We talked about it. And we talked about the real principle that is at stake is one that I have some appreciation for as having spent 15 years in the department of justice, 12 as United States attorney.
And that principle is that the Constitution provides the head of the executive branch certain privileges.
And that members-one of them is confidentiality of communications. And it is improper for agents of any of the department of any departments in the executive branch to waive that privilege without a clear approval of the president.
Harris: Mr. Chairman, I have asked- Sessions: That's the situation- Harris: Mr. Sessions, I asked for a yes or no. Sessions: So the answer is, yes, I consulted. Harris: Did you ask staff to see the policy? Burr: The senator's time has expired. The entire development shot like wildfire across Twitter, as outraged politicians and locals came down heavily on the constant interruptions faced by Harris during a particularly tough line of questioning.
Harris tweeted herself that she was simply trying to discern why Sessions was refusing to answer certain questions during his testimony.
However, Harris did manage to get Sessions on the record stating that he had consulted the policy and that it is a real factor to be considered.