It’s a yes or no answer says Senator Kamala Harris.
The American people deserve to know whether the special counsel is fully independent. We need the truth. I won’t stop until we get it. https://t.co/RVjDXP4U4g
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) June 7, 2017
During today’s Senate Intelligence Committee Senator Kamala Harris, the only took to her job in questioning Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein regarding the independence of special counsel Robert Mueller. While questioning Rosenstein it was obvious that Rosenstein was attempting to filibuster her question as he had throughout the Senate Intelligence Hearing.
In this specific exchange Rosenstein refused to give full assurance that special counsel Mueller has full independence in his Russia Investigation and other investigations in his purview free of fear of being fired by Acting AG Rosenstein or others in the Justice Department.
In a heated exchange Senator Harris pointedly asked:
Would you agree, Mr. Rosenstein, to provide a letter to Director Mueller, similarly, providing that Director Mueller has the authority as special counsel… quote ‘independent of the supervision or control of any officer of the department’ and ensure that director Mueller has the authority that is plenary and not quote ‘defined or limited by the special counsel regulations?’
Senator Harris, looking for a simple answer to a pretty simple question was responded to with what had become a norm throughout the hearing. Rosenstein performed political Jiu-Jitsu refusing to answer with a yes or no.
After a morning of filibustering all answers and talking in circles Senator Harris pressed for a yes or no answer. She was met by Republican Senator Richard Burr mansplaining and shushing her to allow further word-spinning and politics.
Rosentein confirmed to Senator Harris that he could remove Director Mueller and that he would not put in writing that he would give Director Mueller full independence.
Rosenstein insisted on leaning on integrity as assurance of independence for the special counsel in the Russia investigation from the Justice Department including Rosenstein himself and the executive branch. Rosentein explained:
Although it is theatrically true that there are circumstance where he can be removed by the acting Attorney General which, for this case, at this time is me. Your assurance of his independence is Robert Mueller’s integrity Andy McCabe’s integrity and my integrity.
The American people have fought long and hard for an independent investigation into the Russia scandal looming over the White House, the country and the 2016 election. For Rosenstein to refuse to answer this question outright is outrageous. For Senator Richard Burr to allow him to not answer is even more outrageous, but the disrespect toward Senator Harris is outright disrespectful and sexist.
Senator Harris continued to press for an answer that is acceptable for the American people:
Sir, if I may. The greater assurance is not that you and I believe in Director Mueller’s integrity, which I have no question about Mr. Mueller’s integrity. It is that you would put in writing an indication based on your authority as the acting attorney general that he has full independence in regards to the investigations that are before him. Are you willing or are you not willing to give him the authority to be fully independent of your ability statutorily and legally to fire him? Yes or no sir?
Rosenstein, continuing to dodge Kamala Harris, was met with her continuing to ask for a yes or no answer. That is when the astonishingly rude, sexist and outright outrageous response from Senator Richard Burr was delivered:
Would the senator suspend? The chair is going to exercise it’s right to allow the witnesses to answer the question 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.
A calm but rightfully frustrated Kamala Harris replied:
Mr. Chairman I would like to point out that this witness has joked with his ability to filibuster.
While Harris tried to point out a white male senator accused Rosenstein of trying to filibuster earlier in the hearing Burr cut her off again:
The senator would suspend!
What Senator Burr needs to realize is that the American people, the intelligence community and special counsel Mueller will get to the bottom of the Russia scandal and whatever is going in the White House whether he helps them obstruct the investigation or not. He also doesn’t realize insulting, demeaning and publicly shaming strong women will only invigorate an already angry public.
Stonewalling any topics but Trump’s talking points will not work and further proves a republican coverup and attempt to interrupt these investigations.
Watch the exchange here: