Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. will not face a grand jury investigation into whether he should be charged with criminal contempt of Congress for his role in responding to a congressional subpoena, the Justice Department said in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner.
James Cole, the deputy attorney general, said in the letter that the department determined Holder's response to the subpoena for documents about the Fast and Furious gun-tracking probe was not a crime. The letter (PDF), which was sent Thursday night, said DOJ will not present the case to a grand jury "or take any other action to prosecute the Attorney General."
That Holder wasn't likely to face a criminal charge was expected. The House is expected to file a civil suit to try to force disclosure of certain documents. Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, wants to know whether U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen Jr. even saw the House criminal contempt citation before rejecting it.
Grassley today sent a letter to Machen that it was impossible for him to have "undertaken any such independent assessment" of the citation before turning it down. Grassley said Boehner's office received the letter before the citation was transmitted to Machen.