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Burr Scolds Harris at Senate Intel Hearing: ‘Allow the Witnesses to Answer the Question’

• June 7, 2017 1:43 pm

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Sen. Richard Burr (R., NC.), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, scolded Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.) for not allowing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to answer her questions during a committee hearing on Wednesday.

Harris was asking Rosenstein about the authority of former FBI Director Robert Mueller in his current role as special counsel to investigate interference by Russia in the 2016 presidential election. Rosenstein started to answer multiple times before Harris cut him off, leading Burr to intervene.

"Will the senator suspend. The chair is going to exercise it's right to allow the witnesses to answer the question," Burr said. "And the committee is on notice to provide the witnesses the courtesy, which has not been extended all the way across, extend the courtesy for questions to get answered."

Harris then criticized Rosenstein for "joking" about his ability to "filibuster" the committee before Burr allowed the deputy attorney general to answer her questions.

Prior to Burr's comments, Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) asked the chairman to intervene after Harris repeatedly interrupted Rosenstein as he started to answer her questions.

Harris told Rosenstein that he was only allowed to answer her question with a yes or no response.

"It's not a short answer," Rosenstein said.

"It is either you are willing to do that or not. We have precedent in that regard," Harris responded.

McCain jumped in the exchange, telling Burr that Harris needed to allow Rosenstein to answer the question.

"Mr. Chairman, they should be allowed to answer the question," McCain said.

"It's a long question you posed senator. I appreciate the import of your question," Rosenstein said before providing Harris with a lengthy answer to the question.