Executive Branch

Report: Obama Picks D.C. Lawyer, Eric Holder, as AG; 1st Black in Post

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President-elect Barack Obama reportedly has decided to tap Eric Holder, a veteran Washington, D.C., lawyer, as the country’s next attorney general.

If so, he will be the first African-American to head the U.S. Department of Justice, according to a post written by Michael Isikoff in Newsweek magazine’s Powering Up blog. It cites unnamed sources for its report that Holder, 57, will be the next AG.

“Holder, who served as deputy attorney general during the Clinton administration, still has to undergo a formal ‘vetting’ review by the Obama transition team before the selection is final and is publicly announced, said one of the sources, who asked not to be identified talking about the transition process,” the blog post recounts. “But in the discussions over the past few days, Obama offered Holder the job and he accepted, the source said.”

Meanwhile, the transition team has been taking an informal headcount in the Senate, to make sure Holder will be confirmed for the post, reports the Associated Press:

“In the past week, Obama aides have asked Senate Republicans whether they would support Mr. Holder. In particular, the aides questioned whether Mr. Holder’s confirmation would be delayed because of his involvement in the 2001 pardon of fugitive Marc Rich by President Bill Clinton.”

A partner in the Washington office of Covington & Burling, Holder declined to comment and an Obama transition team spokeswoman says no selection has been made, according to the Newsweek blog.

Additional coverage:

Washington Post: “Holder Top Prospect for Attorney General”

The Caucus (New York Times): “Will Holder Be Attorney General?”

ABA Journal: “The Lawyers Who May Run America”

ABAJournal.com: “Will Eric Holder Become the Next Attorney General?”

Updated at 3:50 p.m. to add links to Associated Press, New York Times and Washington Post coverage and revised at 4:30 p.m. to include information from AP article in post.

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