Democratic attorneys criticize House Judiciary Democrats' questioning of Barr

Democratic attorneys criticized Democratic lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee over their questioning of Attorney General William BarrBill BarrPolitics in the Department of Justice can be a good thing Majority of Republicans say 2020 election was invalid: poll Biden administration withdraws from Connecticut transgender athlete case MORE on Tuesday, opining that they could have been more effective and pointed with the nation's top lawyer. 

"Ineffective opening line of questioning by [Rep. Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerHillary Clinton brings up 'Freedom Fries' to mock 'cancel culture' House sets vote for George Floyd police reform bill Jim Jordan calls for House Judiciary hearing on 'cancel culture' MORE (D-N.Y.)]," Daniel Goldman, who served as the majority counsel during the House impeachment inquiry against President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump State Department appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot Intelligence community investigating links between lawmakers, Capitol rioters Michelle Obama slams 'partisan actions' to 'curtail access to ballot box' MORE, tweeted. 


Goldman continued in another tweet, saying that the Democrats on the committee "would be better off asking shorter, very specific questions. Don’t be afraid of Barr’s answers. And be ready to follow up to make a narrow point."

Preet BhararaPreet BhararaReimagining the role of the next SEC chair What a Biden administration should look like Democratic attorneys criticize House Judiciary Democrats' questioning of Barr MORE, the former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, called the hearing "disappointing," adding that it was only "getting worse" as time went by. 


Democrats called Barr to testify in front of the committee on Tuesday to press him on the politicization of the Justice Department (DOJ) following federal use of force during "Black Lives Matter" protests, the decision made by the Trump administration to commute the sentence of Trump associate Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Third approved vaccine distributed to Americans DOJ investigating whether Alex Jones, Roger Stone played role in Jan. 6 riots: WaPo Nearly a quarter of Trump's Facebook posts in 2020 included misinformation: analysis MORE and the firing of U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman of the Southern District of New York. 

Berman was leading several investigations into Trump associates, including his personal attorney, Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Lawmakers face Capitol threat as senators line up votes for relief bill Giuliani again suspended from YouTube over false election claims Sacha Baron Cohen calls out 'danger of lies, hate and conspiracies' in Golden Globes speech MORE

Many of the Democrats used their five-minute allotment of time to make statements about the recent Department of Justice-related happenings, including the recent deployment of federal law enforcement to intervene in the protests in Portland, Ore.

Rep. Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeeBiden pledges support for Texas amid recovery from winter storm Biden turns focus to winter storm with Texas trip Obama says reparations 'justified' MORE (D-Texas) asked Barr if he believed that systemic racism was prevalent among the country's law enforcement.

Rep. Karen BassKaren Ruth BassHouse approves George Floyd Justice in Policing Act House sets vote for George Floyd police reform bill Lobbying world MORE (D-Calif.) questioned Barr on the unequal treatment of Black Americans by police officers, citing Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old Black man who was walking home when he was stopped by police, restrained and then injected with ketamine by paramedics in an attempt to calm him. McClain went into cardiac arrest and later died at the hospital.

However, the questioning from Democrats regarding the sentencing of Stone and former national security adviser Michael Flynn was sporadic and at times hard to follow.

Under Barr, DOJ sought to reduce Stone's sentence and dropped charges against Flynn, who had already been convicted of lying to the FBI. Stone's sentence was commuted by the president earlier in the month.