SPONSORED:

Hirono rebukes Barr during hearing: 'You should resign'

Sen. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoDemocratic senator raises concerns about inauguration security Senate Democrats urge Google to improve ad policies to combat election disinformation Senate gears up for battle over Barr's new special counsel MORE (D-Hawaii) on Wednesday excoriated Attorney General William BarrBill BarrBarr told Trump that theories about stolen election were 'bulls---': report Justice Dept. blasts Mexico's decision to close probe of former defense minister Acting attorney general condemns Capitol riots, warns 'no tolerance' for violence at Biden inauguration MORE during a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, accusing the country's top law enforcement official of sacrificing his reputation in service to President TrumpDonald TrumpGiuliani used provisional ballot to vote in 2020 election, same method he disparaged in fighting to overturn results Trump gets lowest job approval rating in final days as president Fox News' DC managing editor Bill Sammon to retire MORE.

Hirono accused Barr of lying to lawmakers, compared him to Trump's closest allies and told the attorney general: "You should resign."

"Mr. Barr, now the American people know that you are no different from Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiGiuliani used provisional ballot to vote in 2020 election, same method he disparaged in fighting to overturn results Giuliani won't be part of Trump defense at Senate trial Juan Williams: The real 'Deep State' is pro-Trump MORE or Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayPence's relationship with Trump fractures in final days Kellyanne Conway condemns violence, supports Trump in statement on Capitol riots Kellyanne Conway calls for violent Capitol protesters to 'just STOP' MORE or any of other people who sacrifice their once decent reputation for the grifter and liar who sits in the Oval Office," Hirono said.

She spent the bulk of her time for questioning delivering a searing monologue in which she blasted Barr over his handling of the Russia investigation, including a memo he sent to the special counsel about the investigation prior to serving as attorney general, and his four-page summary of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE's report.

ADVERTISEMENT

Barr's testimony comes amid scrutiny from Democrats of his handling of Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. On Tuesday, a Justice Department spokeswoman said that Mueller had expressed “frustration” to Barr in March over Barr's four-page memo describing the investigation’s findings.

Hirono accused Barr of lying to lawmakers when he said he was unaware of Mueller's concerns with the attorney general's four-page summary of the investigation. 

"You used every advantage of your office to create the impression that the president was cleared of misconduct," Hirono said. "You put the power and authority of the office of the attorney general and the Department of Justice behind a public relations effort to help Donald Trump protect himself."

She added that she "wasn't surprised" by what she described as Barr's efforts to protect the president, and said that was the reason she joined other Democrats in voting against his confirmation. 

“Now we know more about your deep involvement in trying to cover up for Donald Trump,” Hirono said Wednesday. “Being attorney general … is a sacred trust. You have betrayed that trust, America deserves better. You should resign.”

Hirono went on to press Barr on whether he believes it’s “OK” for the president to act as he did in episodes detailed in the Mueller report. The report listed 10 "episodes" that Mueller's team examined for possible obstruction of justice.

As Hirono continued tearing into Barr, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham pushes Schumer for vote to dismiss impeachment article Impeachment trial tests Trump's grip on Senate GOP An attack on America that's divided Congress — and a nation MORE (R-S.C.) stepped in to cut off the senator's questioning.

"You’ve slandered this man," Graham said.

"I do not think I am slandering anyone," Hirono replied.

"I gave you seven minutes and you slandered this man from top to bottom," Graham interjected forcefully. "If you want more of this you're not going to get it. If you want to ask him questions you can."

“You certainly have your opinion and I have mine,” Hirono responded as Sen. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnColbert asks Republicans 'have you had enough?' in live show after Capitol violence Congress rejects challenge to Arizona's presidential vote LIVE COVERAGE: Congress certifies Biden win after Pennsylvania, Arizona challenges fail MORE (R-Tenn.) began her line of questioning.

Hirono has emerged as one of the Trump administration's most outspoken critics, and was one of the most forceful questioners during the Judiciary Committee's hearing last year with Supreme Court nominee Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughHarris to resign from Senate seat on Monday Why we need Section 230 more than ever 'Almost Heaven, West Virginia' — Joe Manchin and a 50-50 Senate MORE, who was accused of sexual misconduct.