Well…bye: Eric Holder reportedly leaving the Obama administration

There’s some big news, though not entirely unsurprising news developing this morning. The Associated Press is reporting that Attorney General Eric Holder will announce his resignation today and leave Obama administration once his successor has been confirmed by the Senate:

Two sources familiar with the decision tell NPR that Holder, 63, intends to leave the Justice Department as soon as his successor is confirmed, a process that could run through 2014 and even into next year. A former U.S. government official says Holder has been increasingly “adamant” about his desire to leave soon for fear he otherwise could be locked in to stay for much of the rest of President Obama’s second term.

Holder already is one of the longest serving members of the Obama cabinet and ranks as the fourth longest tenured AG in history. Hundreds of employees waited in lines, stacked three rows deep, for his return in early February 2009 to the Justice Department, where he previously worked as a young corruption prosecutor and as deputy attorney general — the second in command — during the Clinton administration.

It had been rumored for some time that Holder, who has earned the ire of congressional Republicans over Operation Fast and Furious and other issues, wanted out of the administration. Holder telegraphed this to The New Yorker’s Jeffrey Tobin back in February, saying that he planned to stick around “well into” 2014. The Justice Department, however, denied that the Attorney General indicated he would resign.

While the Associated Press notes that Holder wants to be remembered for his work on civil rights, his tenure will most likely be marked by controversies and scandals — including Fast and Furious, his lack of action to investigate the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups, spying on and prosecution of journalists, and assisting President Obama with an extraordinary expansion of executive power.

The timing of the move is curious. Erick Erickson notes that Holder’s resignation is the “clearest sign yet” that Republicans will take the Senate this fall. It’s quite possible that President Obama will move to name his successor in the coming days, meaning a confirmation battle before and after the election during a lame duck session of Congress.

As for holder…


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