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Old October 11, 2011, 10:25 PM   #1335
gc70
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Join Date: May 24, 2005
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 2,492
Quote:
Just curious - what mechanism is it that will force Holder to return to the committee and testify?
Interesting reading in the Congressional Research Service's Congressional Oversight Manual. Subpoena powers are discussed starting on page # 28 and contempt powers are discussed starting on page # 33.

In short, if someone does not respond to a Congressional subpoena, they can be subject to proceedings for inherent contempt, criminal (statutory) contempt, or civil contempt. In inherent contempt, the Sergeant-at-Arms does bring the person to Congress, where they are tried and are subject to imprisonment to the end of that term of Congress. In criminal contempt, a statute requires a U.S. Attorney to bring the contempt charge before a grand jury; the law provides for a fine up to $100,000 and up to a year in prison. Civil contempt involves suing the person in court.
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