Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Sen. Kamala Harris silenced ... nevertheless, she persisted

If looks could kill: Sen. Kamala Harris doesn't like what she hears from chairman Sen. Richard Burr.

CALIFORNIA'S junior senator and the first Indian/American woman elected to the U.S. Senate was told to stop her line of questioning in the high profile hearings Wednesday, ... but, nevertheless, she persisted.

It appears that Republican male senators have a problem with women who are aggressive and speak their mind. Minutes prior to being chastised by Senate intelligence committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C.

"I asked Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to assure the American people that special counsel Bob Mueller has the independence and ability to investigate Donald Trump and his campaign’s ties to the Russian government," said Harris after the hearing's conclusion.

"Rosenstein dodged my question again and again—and as I pressed him to assure the American people, the Republicans tried to shut me down, saying I needed to be more 'courteous'."

Burr's move pointed out that aggressive questioning by the male senators was allowed. Some on Twitter argued the Burr was singling out Harris, one of three women on the intelligence panel, during Wednesday's contentious hearing.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, tweeted: “@SenKamalaHarris was getting facts onto the record. I was not interrupted by @senatorburr when I asked tough questions. She was.”

The California senator, who was the state's Attorney General and San Francisco's District Attorney, used her prosecutorial skills to press Rosenstein for a yes-or-no answer over whether he would sign a letter to give Special Counsel Robert Mueller full independence from the Justice Department in his probe.

That's when Burr stepped in and reprimanded Harris. Harris' look at Burr showed her exasperation.

The exchange between Burr and Harris is reminiscent of the timea few months ago when Sen. Elizabeth Warren was not allowed to read a letter from Coretta Scott King pointing out the racism of Jeff Sessions, who Trump had nominated for Attorney General. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said she could not insult a fellow senator. "She was warned," said McConnell. "She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted," became a battle cry for women.

Warren was among the first to support Harris in a tweet:

After the Burr-Harris exchange, Rosenstein was allowed to give a lengthy, rambling answer, but Harris was not satisfied.

"So, is that a no?" she asked sarcastically.

Rosenstein did not answer as Burr went to the next senator's turn to ask questions.

Watch Sen. Harris try to get a straight answer from Rosenstein:

"Well here is the truth: I will not be silenced," said Harris after the hearings. "We will not be silenced. The American people, who deserve the truth, will not be silenced. Not when the faith and integrity of our democracy is at stake.

"Like Senator Warren—and so many others—we will continue to persist and never give an inch when it comes to truth and accountability in our government."

CNN has the full transcript of the exchange.