The Department of Justice on Friday announced that it will not prosecute Attorney General Eric Holder for withholding subpoenaed Fast and Furious documents.
In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), the department declared that Holder’s refusal to comply with requests from the House Oversight Committee does not constitute a crime and that it will not bring the contempt citation before a federal grand jury.
White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters that there is longstanding precedent against prosecuting Holder given that President Obama has already invoked Executive Privilege.
“The assertion of executive privilege makes the contempt matter moot, if you will,” Carney said. “I’m not a lawyer… but it is my understanding, and I would refer you to the Justice Department, that dating back to the administration of President Reagan that prosecutions will not take place in this circumstance.”
Deputy Attorney General James Cole said that the decision is in line with long-standing Justice Department practice across administrations of both parties, according to reports.