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Harris stresses background as prosecutor in taking on Trump

Harris stresses background as prosecutor in taking on Trump
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Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisRick Scott blocks Senate vote on top cyber nominee until Harris visits border Head of Border Patrol resigning from post Migrant children face alarming conditions in US shelter: BBC investigation MORE (D-Calif.) during a speech Saturday night at an NAACP gathering in South Carolina stressed her work as a prosecutor as a key qualification for challenging President TrumpDonald TrumpIran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' Ivanka Trump, Kushner distance themselves from Trump claims on election: CNN Overnight Defense: Joint Chiefs chairman clashes with GOP on critical race theory | House bill introduced to overhaul military justice system as sexual assault reform builds momentum MORE.

The 2020 White House hopeful also touted her experience as California's attorney general and said Trump needs to be held "accountable."

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"We’ve got to hold this guy accountable by prosecuting the case in front of the American people against four more years of this administration," she said Saturday, according to a transcript her campaign released. "And I’ve prosecuted a lot of cases. But rarely one with this much evidence."

She used Trump as an example for the need for a criminal justice system in which "no one is above the law."

"We’ve got a president of the United States, a man who took an oath to defend the Constitution, who violates that sworn promise," Harris said.

During her remarks, she also defended her background as a prosecutor.

"There have been those who have questioned my motivations, my beliefs and what I’ve done. But my mother used to say, don’t let people tell you who you are. You tell them who you are," she said. "So that’s what I’m gonna do. Because let me be clear — self-appointed political commentators do not get to define who we are and what we believe. I take my mother’s advice. They do not get to define what can be. That is up to us."

Harris, speaking to a mostly black crowd, also addressed racial inequity in the criminal justice system.

"I knew the unilateral power prosecutors had with the stroke of a pen to make a decision about someone else’s life or death. Whether someone will be charged or let off. Whether someone will be tried as a juvenile or as an adult. Whether someone is sent to death row or not," she said. "I knew that it made a difference to have the people making those decisions also be the ones who went to our church, had children in our schools, coached our little league teams and knew our neighborhoods."

Harris has been extensively touring the country since launching her campaign in January. Saturday’s stop in South Carolina was at least her second in the early primary state in the last few months.

Early polling has shown her in the second tier of the crowded Democratic primary field, behind front-runners former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSchumer vows to advance two-pronged infrastructure plan next month Biden appoints veteran housing, banking regulator as acting FHFA chief Iran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSenators say White House aides agreed to infrastructure 'framework' Briahna Joy Gray: Biden is keeping the filibuster to have 'a Joe Manchin presidency' On The Money: Biden to fire FHFA director after Supreme Court removes restriction | Yellen pleads with Congress to raise debt ceiling MORE (I-Vt.).

This report was updated at 7:54 a.m.