June 13, 2017

Another Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, another opportunity for Senator Richard Burr to smack down Kamala Harris for doing what former prosecutors do: Ask questions in rapid-fire succession.

After all, a prosecutor knows to ask questions in rapid succession in order to trip the witness into abandoning lies and possibly revealing truth, and no one does it better than Senator Harris, who is all too often underestimated by the witnesses facing her.

Sessions was clearly withering under her rapid-fire questioning and refusal to allow him to filibuster her time away.

"Did you have any communications with Russian officials for any reason during the campaign that have not been disclosed in public or to this committee," Harris asked.

(Hint: That's a Yes or No question, right?)

Sessions ducked: "I don't recall it. But I have to tell you, I cannot testify to what was said as we were standing at the Republican Convention before the podium where I spoke."

Uh, what question was he answering there? Surely not the one she asked so she tried again. Same question, simple words, different targets. "Did you have any communication with any Russian businessmen or any Russian nationals?"

Sessions seemed to be able to answer that, with some qualification, mostly that he didn't believe he did.

As she went to ask another question, he interrupted her with more qualifications. There were a lot of people at the convention, he said. It's "conceivable"!

Losing patience with Sessions filibuster, Harris persisted, pressing into her next question, but Sessions was not finished.

"If I don't qualify it, you'll accuse me of lying," he whined. "I'm trying to be as correct as I can."

He added a complaint: I don't like to be rushed this fast. It makes me nervous"

I'm sure it does, because he can't run through the list of lies and figure out if he's contradicting any of them. Of course it makes him nervous.

That was actually the point. Too bad Burr rushed to Sessions' defense again, when Harris asked him another straightforward question.

Since Sessions was refusing to answer questions without a basis for doing so beyond some claim of "official policy," Harris asked him whether said policy was in writing. He hemmed and hawed, and said he'd supply what was appropriate, and when she cut him off, Burr cut her down.

Her response:

Can you help us out?

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