Mukasey rejects grand jury probe of Miers, Bolten contempt of congress charges

[JURIST] US Attorney General Michael Mukasey [official website] said in a Friday letter to Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) [official website] that he will not order a grand jury investigation to determine if misdemeanor contempt of Congress charges [HR 979 materials] should be laid against former White House counsel Harriet Miers and current White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten [official profiles] for failing to cooperate with an inquiry into the US Attorneys firing scandal [JURIST news archive]. Mukasey said that Miers and Bolten had done nothing wrong in refusing to testify or provide documents related to the 2006-2007 firings. Pelosi responded [press release]:

By ordering the US Attorney to take no action in response to congressional subpoenas, the Bush Administration is continuing to politicize law enforcement, which undermines public confidence in our criminal justice system.

Anticipating this response from the Administration, the House has already provided authority for the Judiciary Committee to file a civil enforcement action in federal district court and the House shall do so promptly. The American people demand that we uphold the law. As public officials, we take an oath to uphold the Constitution and protect our system of checks and balances and our civil lawsuit seeks to do just that.
On Thursday, Pelosi sent a letter to Mukasey urging him to begin a grand jury investigation [JURIST report] into the conduct of the two White House aides and saying that the House would initiate a civil lawsuit if she did not receive a response within one week.

Earlier this month, members of the House voted [JURIST report] to hold Miers in contempt of Congress [LII backgrounder] for failing to testify and both Miers and Bolten in contempt for refusing to produce documents related to the firings. The White House has said that the information sought in the inquiry is protected by executive privilege [press briefing transcript] and that both Miers and Bolten are immune from prosecution. AP has more.


 

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