During today’s Senate Intelligence hearing several Democratic Senators have pushed hard to break through Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ stonewalling testimony. While several of the exchanges escalated to shouting, only the questions of Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) inspired the condescending rudeness that Sessions directed at the Senate’s lone African American woman. (Video below.)
Harris’ time began with a series of simple yes-or-no questions about connections with Russian officials. Rather than provide simple answers, Sessions rambled at length — a transparent effort to waste the Senator’s allotted time.
When Harris asked Sessions to let her ask her questions, the Attorney General snapped, “If I don’t qualify it, you’ll accuse me of lying.” When she tried to move on he whined, “I’m not able to be rushed this fast. It makes me nervous.”
To her next question, Sessions appeared to deliver a straight forward, “I don’t recall that.”
But as Harris proceeded to the next question, Sessions interrupted with an unnecessary “at this moment,” after which he could not help letting out smug laugh, seemingly pleased with his extra effort to disrespect the Senator.
To her immense credit, Senator Harris held her composure as Sessions continued to bloviate, interrupt, and refuse to answer her questions. Even when Senator John McCain (R-AZ) chimed in to cut Harris off and Sessions openly laughed about it (3:30), Harris remained perfectly dignified. Only when Sessions repeated his bogus, so-called Constitutional justification for refusing to answer her colleagues’ questions did she finally roll her eyes.
No doubt, Republicans will insist that this disrespectful display — from a notorious racist directed at a female Senator of color — is based in neither race nor sex. But there should be no doubt that a U.S. Senator should not be subjected to this rude behavior. The fact that she and she alone received this treatment is truly disgraceful.
Kamala Harris vs. Jeff Sessions. Fireworks. https://t.co/iHnA64R5QP
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) June 13, 2017
Sheila Norton is a writer with ten years of Capitol Hill experience. Subscribe to the OD Action email to get all the hottest news delivered right to your inbox every day at www.odaction.com