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:

Ferguson Unrest

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Nifty Above 8,600

Nifty Above 8,600

Nifty hits record high above 8,600; state-run lenders gain  Full Article 

Indian in Iraq

Indian in Iraq

India says no contact with 39 men held by Islamic State in Iraq.  Full Article 

Sahara Issue

Sahara Issue

Sahara looks to raise $650 million loan to fund bail.  Full Article 

Bhopal Tragedy

Bhopal Tragedy

Bhopal's toxic legacy lives on, 30 years after industrial disaster.  Full Article 

Essar Group

Essar Group

Exclusive - Essar's planned oil-for-steel deal tests Iran sanctions  Full Article 

Islamic Fund

Islamic Fund

India gets new Islamic equity fund but debt market still off-limits  Full Article 

Fiscal Deficit

Fiscal Deficit

April-October fiscal deficit nears 90 pct of full-year target  Full Article 

Oil Prices

Oil Prices

Oil hits new four-year low post OPEC as glut looms  Full Article 

Gold Imports

Gold Imports

India eases gold import rule in surprise move.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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