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Warren: We are watching a descent into authoritarianism

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a Democratic presidential candidate, said Wednesday that the country is watching a “descent into authoritarianism,” as she amped up her call for Attorney General William Barr to resign. 

“I have to say, I know everybody wants to talk about the horse race,” Warren said on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” on her performance in the Tuesday night New Hampshire primary, “but the thing that is really getting to me right now is what’s going on over at the Justice Department.”

“The whole notion that we have people in our Justice Department resigning because of Donald Trump’s inappropriate influence, and the attorney general overturning a sentencing of Donald Trump’s cronies, right in front of our eyes we are watching a descent into authoritarianism,” she added. 

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Four federal prosecutors resigned Tuesday after the Department of Justice asked a federal court to reduce the seven- to nine-year prison sentence lawyers had recommended in Roger Stone’s case. The department’s decision followed an early Tuesday morning tweet in which President Trump denounced the recommended prison sentence as “horrible and very unfair.”

Warren then called on Barr to resign “or face impeachment.” 

“This just seems like a moment to me [when] everybody should be speaking up,” Warren said on CNN. “Presidential candidates should be speaking up, people around this country should be speaking up.” 

She added that she’s “surprised” her primary opponents “aren’t out here talking about it.” 

CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked Warren about the political implications of launching an impeachment inquiry into Barr, on the heels of the Republican-controlled Senate’s vote to acquit Trump in his impeachment trial. 

“No doubt there’s political considerations, but what are the political considerations of sitting on your hands?” Warren responded. “You started this with talking about how democracy dies, that it doesn’t just die in darkness it dies on television with nobody doing anything. Enough of this. We can’t just sit by and watch this happen.”

Stone, a 67-year-old right-wing provocateur, was found guilty in November of lying to Congress and witness tampering related to his efforts to provide the Trump campaign inside information about WikiLeaks in 2016.

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