U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is guilty of "a remarkable perversion" of the nation's civil rights statute with his unprecedented tinkering in the Michael Brown case, former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy told Newsmax TV
"His job is to enforce the law and a profound principle of American law is equal protection … everybody gets the same protection, regardless of race, color, belief system, and the like," McCarthy said on "The Steve Malzberg Show."
"Really, what Eric Holder is doing here is really a remarkable perversion of the civil rights statute."
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McCarthy's comments come a week after Holder flew to Ferguson, Missouri, to meet with community leaders and residents and remarked that his intervention was personal because of his own brushes with racism.
"If you think about it, the civil rights statutes are designed to make sure that people are not abused by government processes," said McCarthy, who as assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, prosecuted 12 terrorists in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
Ferguson, a predominantly African-American city of 21,000, experienced more than a week of riots after Brown, a black teenager, was shot dead by a white police officer.
"I am not making a case for the officer in terms of excessive use of force because we don't know what the facts are yet," McCarthy said.
"If it turns out he used excessive force under the circumstances, then he ought to be prosecuted under the laws of Missouri, and I'm confident that he will be.
"But there is no federal civil rights offense unless you can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that someone either acted out of racial animus or with a purpose to deny someone a specific federal right."
For now, McCarthy continued, there is "not a scintilla of evidence of that based on everything we know" about Officer Darren Wilson.
"You're not supposed to open up a federal investigation unless you have a reasonable basis to think that you can succeed, and that means you have to make out every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt," McCarthy said.
"They can't prove this, so Holder's only way of saying that there's racial animus here, which is what he needs for a civil rights case, is to say the officer is white and the victim was black.
"Which means he's investigating this officer because of the color of his skin, because there's nothing else there. That's exactly what the civil rights laws are designed to prevent."
McCarthy was also critical of the Rev. Al Sharpton, the civil rights activist and MSNBC host who spoke at Brown's funeral and called for federal legislation to change policing in the United States.
"We already do have legislation. Murder is against the law … voluntary manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter," he said.
"On the federal side, we have murder and other violent crime brought into the federal tent by means of … civil rights statutes [when] someone has acted either on the basis of racial bias.
"What Sharpton wants is basically a social justice system where he gets a guarantee outcome regardless of what the facts are, and that's why he … doesn't want to articulate what kind of legislation he thinks he wants because he'd have to try to explain that he wants a guaranteed outcome.''
McCarthy is author of the new book, "Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment,"
published by Encounter Books.
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