Holder Wants Lower Standard of Proof for Civil Rights Cases

Outgoing AG says it's too hard to bring civil rights charges, blames race and politics for GOP opposition

After failing to bring civil rights charges against George Zimmerman—and by the looks of things, Officer Darren Wilson—outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder told Politico in an exit interview that he intends to push in his final weeks to lower the standard of proof for civil rights cases.

The self-described social justice “activist” AG told Politico that he would use his final weeks in office to push for a “lower standard of proof for civil-rights crimes,” with the intention of making cases like the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman and Michael Brown/Darren Wilson easier to bring discrimination charges against.

“I think some serious consideration needs to be given to the standard of proof that has to be met before federal involvement is appropriate, and that’s something that I am going to be talking about before I leave office,” Holder said.

His comments follow his department's announcement Tuesday that it found “insufficient evidence” to bring charges against Zimmerman for violating Martin’s civil rights.

As Politico notes, his comments also appear to be signaling that the DOJ would likewise not be bringing federal charges against Officer Wilson for the shooting death of Brown, an announcement expected before Holder leaves office.

The interview also addressed the opposition from Republicans Holder experienced during his tenure, which he partly blamed on racism.

“There have been times when I thought that’s at least a piece of it,” Holder said, adding, “I think that the primary motivator has probably been political in nature…”

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