Justice Department will not prosecute Attorney General Eric Holder
Saturday, June 30, 2012 2:15 EDT
The US Justice Department said it would not prosecute Attorney
General Eric Holder over his refusal to hand over documents on a botched
gun-running operation to Congress, even after the House of
Representatives held him in contempt.
In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, Deputy Attorney General
James Cole said the Justice Department had “determined that the attorney
general’s response to the subpoena issued by the Committee on Oversight
and Government Reform does not constitute a crime.”
“Therefore the department will not bring the congressional contempt
citation before a grand jury or take any other action to prosecute the
attorney general,” Cole wrote.
his refusal, Cole cited a “longstanding position” of the Justice
Department not to prosecute officials for withholding documents
“pursuant to a presidential assertion of executive privilege.”
Cole reminded Boehner that former Republican presidents Ronald Reagan
and George W. Bush had asserted the same privilege in their dealings
The refusal came after US lawmakers on Thursday took the historic and
controversial step of holding Holder in contempt over the gun-tracking
operation known as Fast and Furious.
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