This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," August 21, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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In the "FACTOR Follow-Up Segment" tonight, Michael Holder and the Michael Brown investigation. The attorney general has been outspoken about the shooting and he's promised a quote, "fair and thorough investigation". But comments like this have some critics thinking otherwise.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOLDER: The national outcry we have seen speaks to a sense of mistrust and mutual suspicion that can take hold in the relationship between law enforcement and certain communities. I wanted the people of Ferguson to know that I personally understood that mistrust. I wanted them to know that while so much else may be uncertain, this attorney general and this department of justice stands with the people of Ferguson.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GUTFELD: Well, shouldn't he be standing for every citizen, including the police officer involved in this case?
Joining me now with reaction is my fellow co-host from that great show "THE FIVE", Dana Perino. So Dana how common is it for a U.S. Attorney General to get so involved in a local/state issue like this.
DANA PERINO, CO HOST, "THE FIVE": I think it's huge news because it is very uncommon. I guess that they must have thought that the situation warranted it. I don't think that there's any evidence yet, however that the U.S. attorney or the local district attorney would not be able to handle this without Department of Justice involvement. Usually the Justice Department would get involved if there is some evidence of wrong doing in the investigation.
Now it is true that the police department has had very bad communications and public relations. But you don't necessarily have to come in and indict somebody for that. They actually have to have some sort of wrong doing in the investigation.
I think that the local district attorney, based on the interviews that I have seen from him, I have never heard about him until the Ferguson situation, seems to me like he's a standup guy and should be given a chance to be able to prosecute this case if there is going to be a case. And that's another thing that I think Eric Holder, going down there -- let's hand it to him -- I think by the time he got there, the situation was diffused enough or just even knowing that he was coming helped diffuse the situation. Ok, so that's good.
But do they leave behind raised expectations for a possible trial? Based on what Jay Nixon, the governor has said, and now Eric Holder has said, if they have this kind of federal attention on a local matter, when it happens again, will they also be stepping in at that point? I doubt it.
And I think if you also look at if the shoe were on the other foot. If it were a white teenager that was killed by a black police officer, would Eric Holder do the same and try to infringe on a local U.S. attorney or a district attorney? I think the answer is probably no.
GUTFELD: Yes. I mean everything points to the fact that there's going to be a trial, right? Because how can they walk away --
PERINO: It shouldn't necessarily. I don't -- we have had --
GUTFELD: But how can they walk away from this, it seems like they have been pushing in that direction.
PERINO: I think that the most important thing is to get all the evidence. We still don't even know about the police officer, there's reports that he was injured as well. We actually -- we just don't know. And I think that's partly the reason that the protesters are starting to slowly fade away because until there is more evidence or a reason to have more grievances, I think we have to wait.
I don't think anybody should be talking about a trial until we know more. But yes, I do think they have put themselves in a position that if there is not a trial, that there might be even more grievances.
GUTFELD: I mean it is unusual, the chief federal law officer showing up in the middle of a incomplete police investigation. That seems to tell me that there's a bit of bias involved here. And it speaks to your point of if a reverse case, it wouldn't be that way.
PERINO: One of the things that Eric Holder himself has said and people that are watching this case have commented that he has personal experience, as a black man, he brings a different perspective. But if Eric Holder can weigh on the case, then why should the local district attorney whose record seems impeccable -- just because his father was killed 50 years ago by a black police officer, they're suggesting that he should recuse himself. That actually doesn't make any sense to me.
And I think that as cooler heads prevail I think that this will go forward and there's going to be so much scrutiny on it that they're going to try to everything by the book.
GUTFELD: Yes. I mean you brought up how the police have handled this, which is I guess not well. But are these small forces capable of dealing with a national magnifying glass?
PERINO: No, crisis communications -- people pay, companies pay top dollar to have PR executives on retainer so that they can have the expertise in the event they might be a crisis. If you're a small local police department, you don't necessarily have that type of training. You can argue that maybe may should. And also just common sense would tell you why would you release the video? They didn't give consistent stories so it undermined the confidence in this situation.
However, again, that's not an indictable offense. Having bad PR is not good, but it's not a crime.
GUTFELD: Yes. It's troubling watching beltway bloggers and reporters descending down into a town like it's a war zone, and it's basically a small town in trouble. The most symbolic thing for me was a reporter convinced that ear plugs were actually rubber bullets because that shows the disconnect between the community and the outsider.
PERINO: Not only that he thought that they were rubber bullets, he hoped that they were because that would then get him to be more the story. So reporters that are trying to make themselves a part of the story do all of us a disservice and certainly the community of Ferguson because as you pointed out, a week from now there won't be that many reporters there. The trial will take a long time, a long time to get evidence. They're talking it may be up until mid October before we even have all the information.
GUTFELD: By then everybody moves on except the people that live there in Ferguson.
GUTFELD: All right. Dana, thank you so much, see you on "THE FIVE", maybe.
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