Justice Department won’t prosecute Attorney General Eric Holder for contempt.
While Republicans were gleefully congratulating themselves in their right-wing echo chamber about successfully pushing a contempt vote through Congress on Thursday, the White House was curtly dismissal that anything would ever come from the Congressional vote.
White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One that “the prosecution will not take place in this circumstance.”
Carney said the matter was moot because the president has exerted executive privilege—in essence telling Congress that it wasn’t consequential enough to get the documents in was seeking, particularly after 7,600 had already been turned over in Congress’ so-called investigation of the ATF Fast and Furious Operation.
Deputy Attorney General James Cole also sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, telling him the contempt case was dead in the water.
“Across administrations of both political parties, the longstanding position of the Department of Justice has been and remains that we will not prosecute an Executive Branch official under the contempt of Congress statute for withholding subpoenaed documents pursuant to a presidential assertion of executive privilege,” the letter read.
Carney suggested that Holder isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and says he will continue “his excellent work” as attorney general and the matter was “pure politics.”