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Holder Found in Contempt Yet The DOJ Won't Prosecute


Holder Found in Contempt

WASHINGTON — The Republican-led House of Representatives on Thursday voted to hold Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt for failing to disclose internal Justice Department documents in response to a subpoena. It was the first time in American history that Congress has imposed the sanction on a sitting member of a president’s cabinet.
The politically and constitutionally charged dispute centered on whether the Justice Department must turn over e-mails and memorandums showing its internal deliberations last year about the botched Arizona-based gunrunning investigation known as Operation Fast and Furious. President Obama has invoked executive privilege to block the subpoena.
The vote — 255 to 67, with one Democrat voting present— followed an acrimonious debate that played out hours after the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Mr. Obama’s health care law, dashing the hopes of conservatives.
Scores of Democrats, accusing Republicans of abusing their power to engineer an election-year “partisan witch hunt,” walked out of the chamber in protest and cast no votes, punctuating a day filled with bitter, sharp-edged rhetoric.

What In Thee….Justice Department won’t prosecute Attorney General Holder for contempt of Congress

The Justice Department moved Friday to shield Attorney General Eric Holder from prosecution after the House voted to hold him in contempt of Congress.
The contempt vote technically opened the door for the House to call on the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia to bring the case before a grand jury. But because U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen works for Holder and because President Obama has already asserted executive privilege over the documents in question, some expected Holder’s Justice Department to balk.
Deputy Attorney General James Cole confirmed in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner that the department in fact would not pursue prosecution. The attorney general’s withholding of documents pertaining to Operation Fast and Furious, he wrote, “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
A department official told Fox News the letter was “pro forma” — or a formality — considering that ex-Attorney General Michael Mukasey in 2008 also refused to refer two Bush White House aides to a grand jury after they were held in contempt.
Republicans nevertheless blasted the Justice Department for the move. Frederick Hill, spokesman for House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, said “it is regrettable that the political leadership of the Justice Department is trying to intervene in an effort to prevent the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia from making an independent decision about whether to prosecute this case.”  MORE

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