Eric Holder: Next Attorney General?

The Washington rumor mill is up to its old tricks again. This time, Washington attorney Eric Holder is being heavily discussed as President-elect Barack Obama’s pick to be the next attorney general.

If actually nominated by Obama and approved by the Senate, a former U.S. attorney who served as the No. 2 official in the Justice Department under President Bill Clinton, would be the nation’s first black attorney general.

There’s also the matter of Holder’s wife. When I spoke with Holder at the Democratic National Convention in Denver in August, Holder said that if Obama did win the presidential election, and if Obama did ask him to be attorney general, he wouldn’t take the job unless his wife said yes.

In the past week, Obama aides have asked Senate Republicans whether they would support Holder. In particular, the aides questioned whether Holder’s confirmation would be delayed because of his involvement in the 2001 pardon of fugitive Marc Rich by Clinton at the end of his presidency, the Associated Press writes.

On the last day of Clinton’s term, Holder was asked whether the president should pardon Rich, a wealthy commodities dealer who had spent years running from tax charges. Holder said he was “neutral, leaning towards favorable” on the pardon. Clinton later cited that as among the factors that persuaded him to issue the pardon. according to the AP.

Deborah Creighton Skinner is the editorial director at BlackEnterprise.com

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