On Thursday, former FBI director James Comey sat for a several-hour testimony in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Many congressional hearings are notoriously longwinded and monotone, but Comey's testimony was highly anticipated, as he was abruptly removed from office by President Trump not long ago. Among the action, Sen. Kamala Harris's questioning during the Comey testimony showed that she is a force to be reckoned with.
Much of Comey's testimony pertained to his relationship with the Trump administration and the investigation into Russia's alleged connections to last year's presidential election and the Trump campaign. Trump has denied any wrongdoing, calling the investigation "the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history," according to The New York Times. Comey didn't answer every question, but the questions he received are indicative of the ongoing concerns over the Trump administration's alleged rm.
In particular, Harris, a freshman senator from California, relied on her expertise as a former prosecutor to level with the former FBI director. Comey testified that Trump, in encouraging Comey to drop the FBI's investigation of former national security advisor Michael Flynn, said, "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go." In response, Harris had a poignant metaphor to offer some perspective.
In my experience as prosecutor, when a robber holds a gun to your head and "hopes" for your wallet, "hope" is not the operative word.— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) June 8, 2017
"In my experience of prosecuting cases, when a robber held a gun to somebody’s head and said 'I hope you will give me your wallet,' the word hope was not the most operative word," Harris said. A tweet with similar wording on Harris' verified account received praise from her supporters, with some calling it the "best line in the entire hearing."
Harris also asked questions of Comey, including, "Are you aware of any meetings between the Trump administration officials and Russian officials during the campaign that have not been acknowledged by those officials in the White House?" Although he couldn't offer a clear answer, Harris showed that despite her relative lack of experience in the Senate, she isn't afraid to ask the tough questions.
Harris hasn't been in Congress long, but her presence in Thursday's hearing was right on brand. She has stood up for herself — and against Trump — since joining the Senate. Just on Wednesday, for instance, Harris made headlines for her questioning during the testimony of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, which got her silenced by other senators. Thursday's showing was the ultimate comeback. Harris's experience as a prosecutor in California served her well during the course of this week's Senate Intelligence Committee hearings, even when others didn't want her to speak.