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Sparks fly when Dick Durbin interrupts Ted Cruz, stops Jackson from answering his question: 'You’re finished'

Win McNamee/Getty Images (left), Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images (right)

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) cut off Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) Wednesday while he questioned Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson, triggering a tense back-and-forth between the two senators.

What happened?

While Cruz was in the middle of questioning Jackson about her history of prosecuting child porn cases, Durbin banged his gavel and stopped Cruz from finishing his questions.

Cruz, however, fought to continue questioning Jackson, retorting that Durbin had taken up some of his time by interrupting him.

"OK, I know you want to interrupt. I know you don’t like this line of questions —" Cruz said.

"I just want you to play by the rules," Durbin shot back.

"I know you like to interrupt, but you’ve consumed a substantial time of my questioning," Cruz responded. "I’m going to ask my questions and you can, if you want to testify, you’re welcome to."

Cruz then continued questioning Jackson about a specific case in which she sentenced a convicted child porn offender to prison for significantly less time than sentencing guidelines and prosecutors recommended. But Durbin was quick to interrupt Cruz again.

"Time is expired," Durbin said as he banged his gavel again. Cruz, however, ignored the interruption, and Durbin attempted to recognize Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) to begin questioning Jackson.

"You’re not recognized, Senator," Durbin told Cruz.

"Do you not want her to answer that question?" Cruz fired back.

"You wouldn’t allow her anyway," the Illinois Democrat said.

'You Can Bang It As Loud As You Want': Cruz Snaps At Durbin During Ketanji Brown Jackson Questioning www.youtube.com

"Mr. Chairman, she may answer the question. I’ve asked her why she sentenced Stewart, an egregious —" Cruz attempted to say before being interrupted again.

"Senator, you’re over time by two minutes," Durbin interjected.

"Because you’ve interrupted me for two minutes, Mr. Chairman," Cruz shot back. "Will you allow her to answer the question, or do you not want the American people to hear why, with someone she described as an 'egregious' —”

"There comes a point, Senator, where you get a little bit —" Durbin interrupted.

"Chairman Durbin, will you allow her to answer the question?" Cruz asked again.

"You won’t allow her to answer the question," Durbin claimed.

The two senators continued arguing back and forth, with Cruz repeatedly pressing Durbin on why he would not permit him to finish his line of questioning. As Durbin banged his gavel, Cruz mocked, "You can bang it as loud as you want."

Cruz noted that Durbin allowed other senators to question Jackson beyond their allotted time — citing Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who Cruz said went 10 minutes past his time — but Durbin refused to allow Cruz to continue.

"You’re finished," Durbin declared.

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