On Friday, Attorney General Michael Mukasey thwarted the efforts of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers to bring White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and former presidential counsel Harriet Miers before a federal grand jury for ignoring subpoenas to testify before the House Judiciary Committee about the firings of nine U.S. attorneys in 2006.
AP via Google News:
In his letter, received by the House early Friday evening, Mukasey pointed out that not only was Miers directed not to testify, she also was immune from congressional subpoenas and was right to not show up to the hearing to which she had been summoned.
“The contempt of Congress statute was not intended to apply and could not constitutionally be applied to an executive branch official who asserts the president’s claim of executive privilege,” Mukasey wrote, quoting Justice policy.
“Accordingly,” Mukasey concluded, “the department has determined that the noncompliance by Mr. Bolten and Ms. Miers with the Judiciary Committee subpoenas did not constitute a crime.”
Though they were not surprised, Democrats reacted to Mukasey’s letter with outrage.