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Hirono rebukes Barr during hearing: 'You should resign'

Sen. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoMore than 75 Asian, LGBTQ groups oppose anti-Asian crime bill Biden-McConnell cold war unlikely to end at White House If you want Julie Su at the DOL, don't point to her resume MORE (D-Hawaii) on Wednesday excoriated Attorney General William BarrBill BarrGraham: 'I accept the results of the election' Senate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Lawyer for former officer charged in George Floyd death alleges witness coercion 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 TrumpGOP-led Maricopa County board decries election recount a 'sham' Analysis: Arpaio immigration patrol lawsuit to cost Arizona county at least 2 million Conservatives launch 'anti-cancel culture' advocacy organization 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 asks judge to block review of records seized in raid of home, office Journalism dies in newsroom cultures where 'fairness is overrated' Giuliani hires attorneys who defended Harvey Weinstein MORE or Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayPence urges 'positive' agenda to counter Biden in first speech since leaving office Kellyanne Conway joins Ohio Senate candidate's campaign Mark Zuckerberg, meet Jean-Jacques Rousseau? 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) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE's report.

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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: 'I accept the results of the election' Juan Williams: The GOP's losing bet on Trump Pro-Trump lawyer Lin Wood causes headache for GOP in key S.C. race 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 BlackburnHillicon Valley: Global cybersecurity leaders say they feel unprepared for attack | Senate Commerce Committee advances Biden's FTC nominee Lina Khan | Senate panel approves bill that would invest billions in tech Senate Commerce Committee advances Biden's FTC nominee Lina Khan The Memo: Trump's critics face wrath of GOP base 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 Kavanaugh Klobuchar offers tribute to her father, who died Wednesday Conservative justices split in ruling for immigrant fighting deportation Supreme Court weighs whether to limit issuance of exemptions to biofuel blending requirements MORE, who was accused of sexual misconduct.