Sessions Opens Federal Probe Into Charlottesville

NBC News reports:

The Department of Justice said late Saturday it has opened a civil-rights investigation into a deadly car-ramming incident that witnesses said targeted counter-protesters at a white nationalist and alt-right rally in Virginia.

“The violence and deaths in Charlottesville strike at the heart of American law and justice,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. “When such actions arise from racial bigotry and hatred, they betray our core values and cannot be tolerated.”

The FBI said in a statement Saturday that it, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia have opened a civil rights investigation into the car striking the crowd of people. Sessions said the federal investigation “will have the full support of the Department of Justice.” “Justice will prevail,” he said.

Late last night on CNN, former Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli argued that Virginia was “well-equipped” to handle such a civil rights investigation on their own, noting that the state had prosecuted the Beltway Snipers without federal aid. One of the killers was executed in 2009 and the other is serving a life sentence.