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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 BarrKellyanne Conway acknowledges Biden as apparent winner Trump Pentagon nominee alleged Biden 'coup': report Ex-FBI lawyer who falsified document in Trump-Russia probe seeks to avoid prison 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 NadlerHouse passes sweeping reform bill to decriminalize marijuana This week: Congress races to wrap work for the year Top Republicans praise Trump's Flynn pardon MORE (D-N.Y.)]," Daniel Goldman, who served as the majority counsel during the House impeachment inquiry against President TrumpDonald John TrumpAppeals court OKs White House diverting military funding to border wall construction Pentagon: Tentative meeting between spy agencies, Biden transition set for early next week Conservative policy director calls Section 230 repeal an 'existential threat' for tech MORE, tweeted. 

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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 BhararaPreetinder (Preet) Singh BhararaWhat a Biden administration should look like Democratic attorneys criticize House Judiciary Democrats' questioning of Barr Clyburn echoes calls to rename Pettus bridge 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. 

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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 StoneBiden, Harris pledge to keep politics out of DOJ Flynn spurs questions of who Trump might pardon next OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Trump pardons Flynn | Lawmakers lash out at decision | Pentagon nixes Thanksgiving dining hall meals due to COVID-19 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 GiulianiHow Trump's election lawsuits became his worst nightmare Michigan voter fraud hearing goes viral for alleged flatulence, unruly witness Trump hits Barr over voter fraud remarks: 'He hasn't looked' 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 LeePocan won't seek another term as Progressive Caucus co-chair Grand jury charges no officers in Breonna Taylor death Hillicon Valley: Murky TikTok deal raises questions about China's role | Twitter investigating automated image previews over apparent algorithmic bias | House approves bill making hacking federal voting systems a crime MORE (D-Texas) asked Barr if he believed that systemic racism was prevalent among the country's law enforcement.

Rep. Karen BassKaren Ruth BassJoyce Beatty elected next chair of Congressional Black Caucus Feinstein pushes for California secretary of state to replace Harris in Senate The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump OKs transition; Biden taps Treasury, State experience 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.