When Kamala Harris Was Interrupted For a Second Time by Male Colleagues During Senate Hearing

When Kamala Harris Was Interrupted For a Second Time by Male Colleagues During Senate Hearing
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Anna Moneymaker

In June 2017, for the second time in a week, male colleagues interrupted Vice President Kamala Harris during a Senate hearing. At the time, Harris was questioning Attorney General Jeff Sessions, pressing him for specific responses regarding Justice Department practices. She was curious about why Sessions was unable to respond to some of the committee's inquiries before the meeting. Additionally, she questioned him about whether he had addressed these policies with his staff.

Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Lauren DeCicca
Image Source: Getty Images | Lauren DeCicca

Harris asked, "Sir, I’m not asking you about the principle. I’m asking 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 a policy that would be the basis for your refusing to answer the majority of questions that have been asked of you?” The two Republican senators were quick to cut her off. Sen. John McCain of Arizona spoke first.


"Chairman, the witness should be allowed to answer the question." Subsequently, the committee chairman, Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, asserted, "Senators will allow the chairs to control the hearing. Senator Harris, let him answer.”  After the hearing, determined to get the truth for the American people, she tweeted, "It was a simple question. Can Sessions point to the policy, in writing, that allows him to not answer a whole host of our questions today?" as per The HuffPost



This wasn't the first time Harris had been interrupted. Just a week earlier, Burr and McCain had cut her off when she questioned Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein. These interruptions stood out because other senators weren't treated the same way. Senators Ron Wyden and Martin Heinrich, both men, asked tough questions too but no one interjected. This led many to wonder if Harris was being singled out because she's a woman, or because she's Black. 


The exchange also sparked outrage on social media. Netizens criticized the male senators and pointed out that Harris was just doing her job. Harris's spokesman, Tyrone Gayle, defended her approach. He voiced, “As a career prosecutor and former attorney general, Senator Harris has run countless investigations, and will follow the facts wherever they may lead to get the truth for the American people. That can only happen when witnesses answer questions.”


In another tweet, Harris argued, "The women of the United States Senate will not be silenced when seeking the truth. Fight back." She added a link to a fundraising page for female senators. Harris later stated that she was only attempting to ascertain Sessions' reasons for excluding specific information from his testimony. She eventually was able to convince Sessions to acknowledge that he had reviewed the policy and that it was a legitimate element to take into account, as per Business Standard.

Share this article: When Kamala Harris Was Interrupted For a Second Time by Male Colleagues During Senate Hearing
More Stories on Inquisitr