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Opinion: When Kamala Harris and women everywhere do their job well, they get called ‘hysterical’

Sen. Kamala Harris questions Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions during his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 13.
(J. Scott Applewhite / AP)

To the editor: Twice recently, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who is not a regular member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, interrupted Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), a well trained prosecutor and former attorney general of California, as she questioned the witness. (“Jeff Sessions said Kamala Harris’ questioning made him ‘nervous,’” June 13)

On Tuesday, Harris doggedly asked Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions if he had read a policy he cited allegedly exempting him from answering questions about his conversations with President Trump. Harris, under a strict time constraint, tried to keep the dissembling Sessions on subject, but McCain interrupted her.

Harris has been called “hysterical.” Educated, successful and assertive women have faced this same accusation for ages.

Ellen Lubic, Thousand Oaks

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To the editor: Harris was again admonished for her rudeness. In response, Harris sent out emails to supporters with the slogan, “Courage not courtesy.”

With so much incivility in politics, Harris should know there is nothing courageous about discourtesy.

Jim Blumel, Santa Clarita

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To the editor: The Senate Intelligence Committee dropped the ball and made legal errors that any of its lawyer members should have caught. It failed to ask the clearly unprivileged and allowable questions Sessions could not refuse to answer under the guise of protecting the president’s right to assert executive privilege.

Privilege covers only the content of the communication and not whether a communication on a given topic occurred. If Sessions had been asked “yes or no” whether he had a discussion with the president on a specified topic and he answered “yes,” then the committee could have asked the White House whether it was invoking executive privilege on those conversations.

Sessions surely knew he could not refuse to answer topic-identifying questions. The committee’s legal ineptness let him off the hook.

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Les Weinstein, Los Angeles

The writer is an attorney.

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