Via Ed Morrissey at Hot Air we learn that AG Michael Mukasey is refusing to prosecute contempt citations for Harriet Miers and Josh Bolten:
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.
Good for him. Ed says it’s not over yet:
The next step will be for the House to file a lawsuit against the DoJ to force them into prosecuting the citations. That gets into some sticky areas of the law. The concepts of executive privilege have not fully been tested in the courts, and until now both elective branches have done their best to avoid an all-out legal confrontation.
But I think it is over. As I explained here [Yeah, at great length. -- Ed. Hey, go back to Kaus's blog!], I think it would violate the separation of powers for Congress to order DoJ to pursue a prosecution that DoJ thinks is untenable. I even debated the issue with a law professor in an e-mail exchange reproduced here; I leave it to the reader to determine who had the better of the argument.
I think we’re done here. If DoJ says there’s no case, there’s no case. End of story.