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Sessions hearing

Sen. Kamala Harris leaves Sessions 'nervous' in interrogation over his refusal to disclose conversations with Trump

Sen. Kamala Harris of California turned her aggressive prosecutor tactics on Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions in a tense interrogation Tuesday at a Senate hearing on Russia and the Trump campaign.

The two talked over each other as the freshman Democrat challenged Sessions to produce documents on his work as a top advisor to the campaign.

In a campaign, Sessions told her, "you’re moving so fast that you don’t keep notes. You meet people. I didn’t keep notes of my conversation with the Russian ambassador.”

Harris interrupted.

“Will you provide this committee with the notes that you did maintain?” she asked.

“As appropriate, I will supply the committee with documents,” he replied.

“Can you please tell me what you mean when you say appropriate?” she asked.

So it went for the full five minutes of Harris’ allotted time. When Sessions said he didn't recall any conversations with Russian businessmen at the 2016 Republican convention, Harris interrupted again.

“Will you let me qualify it?” he responded in a tone of annoyance. “If I don't qualify it, you'll accuse me of lying. So I need to be correct as best I can. I'm not able to be rushed this fast. It makes me nervous.”

Harris, a former San Francisco district attorney and California attorney general, demanded to know what policy Sessions was relying upon when he refused to discuss his conversations with President Trump.

Sessions began describing the principle behind the policy.

“Sir, I ‘m not asking about the principle,” she said.

Sen. John McCain butted in.

“Mr. Chairman, the witness should be allowed to answer the question,” the Arizona Republican said.

Committee Chairman Richard M. Burr of North Carolina intervened.

“Senators will allow the chair to control the hearing," he said. "Sen. Harris, let him answer.”

“The Constitution provides the head of the executive branch certain privileges,” Sessions resumed. “And one of them is confidentiality of communications.”

At a Senate hearing last week, Burr cut off Harris’ questioning of Deputy Atty. Gen. Rod Rosenstein, saying she was not letting him finish his answers.

Harris used the incident to raise campaign money, telling potential donors in an email: "Thank you for standing with me yesterday when the GOP tried to shut me down."

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