Constitutional Law

DOJ Won't Prosecute AG Holder re US House Contempt Citation


U.S. Attorney General
Eric Holder. Rena Schild

Saying that it wasn’t a crime for U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to withhold information sought by a congressional committee concerning the feds’ botched Fast and Furious gun-trafficking investigation, the Department of Justice has announced that it won’t prosecute the nation’s top law enforcement officer for contempt.

In a letter to the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, the DOJ says it is neither going to prosecute concerning lawmakers’ Thursday vote to hold the AG in contempt nor take the matter to a grand jury, the Associated Press reports.

Deputy Attorney General James Cole says the DOJ’s position in the matter is consistent with longstanding tradition in both Democratic and Republican administrations.

However, because the House voted to find Holder both in criminal contempt and in civil contempt, it could opt to bring in a private attorney to enforce the civil contempt citation, Jennifer Rubin writes in a Washington Post opinion piece.

Additional coverage: “House Cites Attorney General Eric Holder for Contempt of Congress; AG Calls Vote ‘Grave Disservice’”

Decoder Wire (Christian Science Monitor): “Could Congress jail Attorney General Eric Holder for contempt?”

Fox News: “Justice Department shields Holder from prosecution after contempt vote”

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