DOJ INVOKES RONALD REAGAN, SNUBS CONGRESS, SAYS HOLDER DID NOT BREAK ANY LAWS - Justice Department Won't Prosecute Holder for Contempt
"The department has determined that the Attorney General's response to the subpoena…does not constitute a crime, and therefore the department will not bring the congressional contempt citation before a grand jury or take any other action to proattorney general,"
Updated June 29, 2012, 4:40 p.m. ET.
Justice Department Won't Prosecute Holder for Contempt
By EVAN PEREZ
WASHINGTON—The Justice Department said Friday its prosecutors won't pursue criminal charges against their boss, Attorney General Eric Holder, over his refusal to turn over documents sought by House Republicans.
The move was an expected response to a vote in the Republican-controlled House Thursday citing Mr. Holder with contempt of Congress. Under the law, it is the responsibility of the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia to enforce the House contempt finding, including pursuing a criminal prosecution before a grand jury.
The vote came in a dispute over documents related to the botched Fast and Furious gun-trafficking probe, in which federal agents allowed suspected smugglers to buy about 2,000 firearms, many of which were smuggled to Mexico.
President Barack Obama this month asserted executive privilege to block the release of Justice Department documents that Republican House lawmakers have subpoenaed. Mr. Holder had earlier refused to release the documents.
Read Mr. Cole's letter to Mr. Boehner.
Deputy Attorney General James Cole notified House Speaker John Boehner that the department would rely on internal precedent dating back to the Reagan administration to ignore the House contempt citation.
"The department has determined that the Attorney General's response to the subpoena…does not constitute a crime, and therefore the department will not bring the congressional contempt citation before a grand jury or take any other action to proattorney general," secute the Mr. Cole wrote.
The House also voted Thursday to authorize a civil contempt lawsuit, which sets up a legal battle that could take years.
Republicans have said they want to see the documents to find out how the Fast and Furious operation got under way and how officials in Washington learned about it. Some of those questions could be answered within the next few weeks, when the Justice Department's inspector general is expected to produce the first definitive account of what went wrong.This article was originally published in forum thread: Justice Department Won't Prosecute Holder for Contempt started by JohnDoe2 View original post