Democrat Sen. Kamala Harris asks tough questions in Jeff Sessions hearing, gets cut off

Harris was questioning Sessions at a Senate intelligence committee hearing Tuesday about his legal basis for refusing to answer some questions.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Published:June 14, 2017 11:50 am
jeff sessions, jeff sessions hearing, kamala harris, world news, jeff sessions russia, US news Sen. Kamala Harris at the James Comey hearing. (AP Photo)

Indian-American senator Kamala Harris launched a tough question-answer round on US Attorney General Jeff Sessions who testified at a Senate hearing on Tuesday. While Sessions evaded answering most questions, Harris persisted and even interrupted any responses that she ascertained were not direct answers.

Harris was questioning Sessions at a Senate intelligence committee hearing Tuesday about his legal basis for refusing to answer some questions. Harris asked him whether he kept records – in calendars, memos, emails – of his conversations with US President Donald Trump. While he initially dodged the question, he later said he would commit to submitting to the committee records of what he deemed “appropriate” after a conversation with the lawyers.

Harris then asked him if he had consulted the DOJ Policy before coming to the hearing, an answer she wanted in just yes or no. However, evading the answer, Sessions continued to talk about principles of the policy. As Harris pressed, Republican Sen. John McCain interrupted her, saying the witness should be allowed to answer. This was the second time Harris was cut off while speaking. Last week, at the hearing of former FBI Director James Comey, panel Chairman Richard Burr had admonished Harris.

This week, he asked her to simply let him answer. She did, but wasn’t satisfied as Sessions continued to evade. As she asked for a yes or no answer, Burr cut her off for the last time. Burr said Harris’ time had expired.

Before the hearing, Harris had clarified her stance on Twitter, saying that she would “focus on gathering the facts and information surrounding a few questions.” One of her questions, she tweeted, would be, “Did Sessions violate the terms of his recusal from the Russia investigation by being involved in the firing of James Comey?” She also said that because of the revelation that Sessions misled the Senate during his testimony, she called on him to resign. “Since it came to light Sessions misled during his testimony in front of the Senate, I have called on him to resign,” she tweeted.

At the hearing, Attorney General Jeff Sessions heatedly denied that he had any undisclosed meeting with the Russian ambassador or conversations with Russian officials about the U.S. elections. He vowed to defend his honor “against scurrilous and false allegations.” Testifying at a Senate hearing, Sessions said it was a “detestable and appalling lie” to suggest that he participated in or was aware of any collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

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