The chairman of the committee interrupted the California Senator
Harris was questioning Sessions about policies from the Department of Justice he was citing as the reason he was unable to answer certain questions during his testimony. “Can you tell us what policy it is you’re talking about?” she asked. She interjected with additional questions while he tried to answer, like whether whether the policy was in writing
“The policy is based on the principle that the President —” Sessions said.
Harris responded, “I’m not asking about the principle. I’m asking that 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 today–”
At this point, her colleague, Senator John McCain, interjected “The witness should be allowed to answer the question,” he said.
The committee chairman, Senator Richard Burr, responded that the Senators should allow the chairs to control the hearing. “Let him answer,” he told Harris.
Several people on Twitter — as well as other committee members — immediately noticed that Harris, who is one of three women on the thirteen-member intelligence committee, was the only one interrupted during her line of questioning.
“Again, [Kamala Harris] was doing her job. She was interrupted for asking tough questions,” Harris’ fellow committee member, Senator Ron Wyden tweeted. “I was not interrupted.”
Harris subsequently tweeted that she was simply trying to discern why Sessions was refusing to answer certain questions during his testimony.
The interruption was a repeat of an incident that happened during the testimony of Sessions’ deputy, Rod Rosenstein, earlier this month. Harris was questioning Rosenstein about the possibility of signing a letter affirming independence for Special Counsel Robert Mueller, when McCain said Rosenstein should be allowed to answer the question. Harris continued to question Rosenstein, and Burr interrupted asking that she suspend her questions.