US Attorney General Eric Holder won't be prosecuted by Justice Department


In a letter sent to House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday, the department said it will not bring the congressional contempt citation against Holder to a federal grand jury and that it will take no other action to prosecute the attorney general.

Deputy Attorney General James Cole said the decision is in line with long-standing Justice Department practice across administrations of both political parties.

The House voted to hold Holder in contempt of Congress on Thursday. He is the first sitting attorney general to be held in contempt.

It all stemmed from Holder's refusal to meet Republican demands to hand over documents in an investigation into tactics used in Operation Fast and Furious, which allowed hundreds of guns to be smuggled from Arizona to Mexico.

After the decision, Holder said the contempt vote was a politically motivated act in an election year. He said that Rep. Darrell Issa, who leads the House committee investigating the flawed gun-smuggling investigation, and others have focused on politics over public safety.

Also Thursday, the GOP passed a second resolution that found Holder in civil contempt of Congress. This authorizes the Committee of Oversight and Government Reform to initiate or intervene in judicial proceedings to enforce certain subpoenas. According to ABC News, this process could take months or even years.

ABC News and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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