A showdown over executive privilege got more likely yesterday when Attorney General Michael Mukasey said he wouldn't pursue contempt charges against two Bush aides, Reuters reports. Mukasey rejected the request from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to refer the case to a grand jury, arguing that they had committed no crime by refusing to testify to Congress about the controversial firing of 9 US prosecutors.
Bush ordered White House chief of staff Josh Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers not to cooperate with the probe, and that directive was legal, Mukasey wrote to Pelosi. The Dems' next step would be to take the matter directly to the courts, but a White House spokesman said a federal judge would probably turn the case down. (Read more Michael Mukasey stories.)