Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
Growing questions today about the Justice Department's pursuit of George Zimmerman.
With pressure building from civil rights groups to file civil rights charges against the former neighborhood watch -- The -- -- GA has set up an online tip line and is asking the public for information that might help should -- decide to prosecute Zimmerman.
And -- push comes despite the fact that Zimmerman has been acquitted of all charges and cleared by the FBI in a previous investigation.
To joining us to discuss this is a former United States attorney general Alberto Gonzales mr.
Gonzales thanks for being here.
And it's good to be with you Alison what do you think this week when you heard that the Department of Justice had set up this online tip line it sounds like it's trying to just.
Unearth some more dirt.
On George Zimmerman.
Well the first thing I thought I was that they're sort of at a dead end.
And what what they're doing now is as -- what they can -- see if there's anyone out there that is wanna come forward with some information that may form the basis.
The civil rights prosecution and obviously -- -- has been acquitted.
He has been a -- Al Arab state charges in the question now is whether or not.
There are federal charges.
Civil rights violations at that tea -- -- of justice can bring against Georgia and as a result of the actions involving -- -- -- -- this standard operating procedure from the Department of Justice are we seeing something different because of this case and all the outcry that a cause.
I'm not sure there's much that standard about this case is a fairly -- usual case.
A very high profile case that's captivated the interest of the nation and I think that Department of Justice the attorney general understands that.
Whatever they do that -- that whatever decision is made here is going to be scrutinized.
And if they if -- decisions made a move -- order not to move forward.
That decision's going to be scrutinized and they wanna I think they want to make sure that they they leave no stone unturned.
And in terms of gathering up evidence our lack of attitude sure there's lack of evidence that -- support the decision is ultimately married.
You know the department justice had a conference call this week with federal prosecutors and some civil rights leaders in Sanford Florida where of course this whole incident took place.
And it's not like the feeling is.
-- trim on Maarten the victim here did not get justice but that's the same as George Zimmerman -- getting a fair trial.
Does the Department of Justice have a case if just trained on -- wasn't able to tragically get justice but.
They're really the criminal case did nothing wrong.
Well -- -- listen under our criminal justice system what -- we expect.
-- but all of us should expect is justice under the law.
And I virtually every.
Turn that I've heard I speak about this publicly.
Confirms that they believe that in fact the outcome was the right one -- any evidence in this case and given the law applied to that evidence.
Many of us looking at this in -- deciding well this this it doesn't feel like moral justice.
This isn't biblical justice system really is very unfair and that is -- -- a certainly a fair bit to the Martin family.
But in terms of looking at what happened here from -- from all indications are from my perspective is that justice on the law was achieved here.
And but but the Department of Justice of course it you know that they want to reassure.
These the civil rights leaders and in fact they're looking at this very carefully but did they take this very seriously because they want to ensure that honored at the federal level.
That that they don't pass up the opportunity to ensure justice under the -- achieved there as well.
I mean of course there was no evidence during the trial.
George Zimmerman did act on any sort of racism.
I mean isn't that of the heart of what the Department of Justice is trying to figure out with this tip line.
But nothing came out during trial that would suggest that he acted because of racism did it.
As far as I know there's no evidence it can -- the trauma and I think the family.
I think the prosecuting team I think even the jurors there has spoken out of all confirm that race.
Did not play a factor here now that doesn't mean as someone out there may not have information.
About George Zimmerman that perhaps race might be involved in some way.
I think it's highly unlikely.
But I think again I think what that a part of -- is doing here is going that extra mile to ensure.
That there's not be any criticism of the department that they didn't go move forward with a legitimate civil rights case based on what I say -- assets -- -- is I don't panic as I is sort of drugs -- they make sure is that okay that they go that extra mile because some would call it a fishing expedition.
And others would say even -- it even verges on double jeopardy in the fact that he was acquitted of all criminal charges it then setting up this tip line.
George Zimmermann now may be getting a raw deal.
I'm not I'm not -- see how some people may view it as perhaps the double jeopardy but again we're talking about.
Different kind of charges based upon the state charges and and and federal charges.
Whether or not this is a fishing expedition I think one can argue it either way it's -- Those who support that who who -- want to see finality and they believe that justice has been achieved made characterizes as a fishing expedition.
But there are -- number of people are unsatisfied about that about the decision here and again I think the Department of Justice is doing what -- -- to reassure everyone.
That to the extent any federal crime was committed here.
The -- that justice will be served with respect to those possible federal crimes but again sitting here -- -- sitting here today.
From my perspective I think it's going to be highly unlikely that they're gonna move forward any kind of prosecution.
Former attorney general Alberto Gonzales we appreciate your expertise in you sharing -- with us thank you.
You -- thanks for having me.
Filter by section