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 BarrTrump: Yates either lying or grossly incompetent Trump administration awarding M in housing grants to human trafficking survivors Trump stokes conspiracy about Epstein death, stands by wishes for Ghislaine Maxwell 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 NadlerBy questioning Barr, Democrats unmasked their policy of betrayal Chris Wallace: Barr hearing 'an embarrassment' for Democrats: 'Just wanted to excoriate him' Apple posts blowout third quarter MORE (D-N.Y.)]," Daniel Goldman, who served as the majority counsel during the House impeachment inquiry against President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says his faith is 'bedrock foundation of my life' after Trump claim Coronavirus talks on life support as parties dig in, pass blame Ohio governor tests negative in second coronavirus test 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 BhararaDemocratic attorneys criticize House Judiciary Democrats' questioning of Barr Clyburn echoes calls to rename Pettus bridge Support swells for renaming Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma to honor John Lewis after his death 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 StoneNew HBO documentary lets Gaetz, Massie, Buck offer their take on how to 'drain the swamp' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Brawls on Capitol Hill on Barr and COVID-19 Democrats blister Barr during tense hearing 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 GiulianiGiuliani says Black Lives Matter is 'domestic terrorist' group Commission on Presidential Debates rejects Trump campaign call for earlier debate The Hill's Campaign Report: COVID-19 puts conventions in flux  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 LeeDemocratic attorneys criticize House Judiciary Democrats' questioning of Barr Steyer endorses reparations bill, commits to working with Jackson Lee Democrats set to hold out for big police reform MORE (D-Texas) asked Barr if he believed that systemic racism was prevalent among the country's law enforcement.

Rep. Karen BassKaren Ruth BassBiden VP race is highly fluid days before expected pick Virginia mayor refuses to resign over controversial Biden, 'Aunt Jemima' post Trump campaign on Biden VP pick: 'He's going to tear the party apart' 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.