Mukasey won't pursue contempt probe of Bush aides

WASHINGTON Sat Mar 1, 2008 8:22am IST

U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey addresses the media in Ankara February 15, 2008. Mukasey refused on Friday to pursue contempt citations issued by the House of Representatives against a current and a former White House aide for not cooperating in a probe of the firing of U.S. attorneys. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey addresses the media in Ankara February 15, 2008. Mukasey refused on Friday to pursue contempt citations issued by the House of Representatives against a current and a former White House aide for not cooperating in a probe of the firing of U.S. attorneys.

Credit: Reuters/Umit Bektas

Related Topics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey refused on Friday to pursue contempt citations issued by the House of Representatives against a current and a former White House aide for not cooperating in a probe of the firing of U.S. attorneys.

Saying no crime was committed, Mukasey rejected a request by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to refer the citations to a federal grand jury investigation of current White House chief of staff Josh Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers.

"The Department has determined that the non-compliance by Mr. Bolten and Ms. Miers with the Judiciary Committee subpoenas did not constitute a crime, and therefore the Department will not bring the congressional contempt citations before a grand jury or take any other action to prosecute Mr. Bolten or Ms. Miers," Mukasey said in a letter to Pelosi.

The Democratic-led House of Representatives voted 223-32 earlier this month, with most of President George W. Bush's fellow Republicans abstaining, to pursue legal action against Bolten and Miers for failing to provide documents and appear at a hearing.

In doing so, the House also authorized its Judiciary Committee to go to court to file suit to enforce the subpoenas.

The case centers on the Justice Department's firing under then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales of nine of the 93 U.S. attorneys. Critics charged the federal prosecutors were fired for political reasons, allegations denied by the White House.

Mukasey said in the letter to Pelosi that Bush, citing executive privilege, had directed his two aides not to comply, and the Justice Department had determined that Bush's order was legal and therefore it would not take any further action.

FILED UNDER:

Reuters Showcase

World Cup 2015

World Cup 2015

Dhoni, bowlers shine as India book quarter-final place.  Full Article 

Reuters Poll

Reuters Poll

Rupee to depreciate marginally, yuan to rise a little.  Full Article 

Rape Accused Killed

Rape Accused Killed

Mob in Nagaland breaks into jail, lynches rape suspect.  Full Article 

Govt vs RBI

Govt vs RBI

Government faces potential clashes with RBI over who decides rates.  Full Article 

'India's Daughter'

'India's Daughter'

Society created Delhi gang rape convicts: Filmmaker Leslee Udwin.  Full Article | Related Story 

Ford Injured

Ford Injured

Actor Harrison Ford injured in small-plane crash in Los Angeles.  Full Article 

China Attack

China Attack

Knife attack wounds 9 at Chinese train station, suspect shot dead.  Full Article 

Holi Hai!

Holi Hai!

In Pictures: Festival of Colours.  Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage